You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

Thursday, October 30, 2014

New Jersey Man Sentenced To Three Months In Prison In Manhattan Federal Court For Hiding Over $1 Million In Secret Swiss Bank Account

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that VIKTOR KORDASH was sentenced today to three months in prison for willfully failing to file Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (“FBARs”) with the IRS regarding a secret Swiss bank account that he maintained and controlled at Wegelin & Co. (“Wegelin”), a Swiss bank formerly headquartered in St. Gallen, Switzerland, which separately pled guilty in January 2013 to assisting U.S. taxpayers in maintaining undeclared accounts. During the time that KORDASH maintained his undeclared account at Wegelin, KORDASH received tens of thousands of dollars in cash distributions from his undeclared account. KORDASH pled guilty in May 2014 before U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams, who also imposed today’s sentence.

According to the Information filed in Manhattan federal court, other court documents, and statements made in connection with KORDASH’s guilty plea and sentencing:

In the early 1980s, KORDASH opened an account at Wegelin. At that time, KORDASH was living in Russia and was a Russian citizen. In 1984, however, KORDASH emigrated to the United States, and in 1986, KORDASH applied for and was granted citizenship in the United States. After immigrating to the United States, and after becoming a United States citizen, KORDASH continued to maintain his account at Wegelin, and failed to declare it to the IRS, up until approximately November 2010. KORDASH used the undeclared account as an operating and investment account for his antique reproductions business, which he operated out of New York, New York.

During the time period that KORDASH maintained his undeclared account at Wegelin, capital gains and losses were generated in the account from KORDASH’s investments in foreign securities. Between 2007 and 2010, the high value of KORDASH’s undeclared account was over $1.5 million. Further, between at least April 2008 and June 2010, KORDASH received a series of cash distributions from the undeclared account from Wegelin’s correspondent account in Stamford, Connecticut, which totaled over $168,000. In November 2010, KORDASH closed the undeclared account and transferred the balance to his wife. The balance of the undeclared account at the time of its closure and transfer was nearly $1 million.

For each of the calendar years from at least 1986 through 2010, Kordash failed to file an FBAR with the IRS, as he was required to do, disclosing his signatory or other authority over his undeclared account at Wegelin. He was required to identify the financial institution with which his account was held, the type of account, the account number, and the maximum value of the account during the calendar year for which the FBAR was being filed. He willfully failed to do so.

In addition to the sentence of three months in prison, KORDASH, 64, of Cliffside Park, New Jersey, was also sentenced to three years’ supervised release, and ordered to pay back taxes of over $268,000 and a civil penalty of over $750,000.

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding efforts of IRS-CI in the investigation. Mr. Bharara also thanked U.S. Department of Justice’s Tax Division for their assistance in the investigation.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah E. Paul and Jason H. Cowley are in charge of the prosecution.

Press Release Number: 
Updated May 15, 2015