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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 3, 2014

Accountant Pleads Guilty To Hiding Swiss Bank Account

ATLANTA - Forensic accountant and certified fraud examiner Howard Bloomberg has pleaded guilty to willfully failing to disclose to the U.S. Treasury Department a foreign bank account he controlled in Switzerland.

“The era of hiding money in secret Swiss bank accounts is over,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.  “Citizens should understand that failing to abide by their banking disclosure obligations to the U.S. Treasury Department could mean criminal prosecution.”

“The Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Attorney’s office will continue to pursue those who attempt to fraudulently obstruct or impede our Nation's tax system.” stated Veronica F. Hyman-Pillot, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation.

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court:  From 1997 to 2008, Bloomberg owned and controlled a foreign bank account with Union Bank of Switzerland AG (“UBS”), one of the biggest banks in Switzerland and largest wealth managers in the world.  By 2001, Bloomberg’s foreign bank account with UBS had a high balance of approximately $930,000.

Citizens and residents of the United States who have a financial interest in, or signature authority over, a financial account in a foreign country with an aggregate value of more than $10,000 at any time during a calendar year are required to file with the U.S. Department of Treasury a “Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts,” commonly referred to as the “FBAR”.  The FBAR for the applicable year is due to be filed by June 30 of the following year.  Bloomberg pleaded guilty to willfully failing to file a FBAR for the 2008 year, even though that same year he wired over $540,000 from his Swiss UBS bank account to a United States bank account that he controlled.

Sentencing for Bloomberg, 55, of Atlanta, Ga., is scheduled for December 19, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. before United States District Judge Thomas W. Thrash.

This case is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney Steven D. Grimberg is prosecuting the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/.

Updated April 8, 2015