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Imprisoning A Courageous Whistleblower: The Case of Bradley Birkenfeld - by Stephen Lendman
On May 14, 2008, New York Times writer Lynnley Browning headlined, "Ex-Banker from UBS Is Indicted in Tax Case," saying:
"The one-count conspiracy indictment, unsealed in federal court, accuses the former banker, Bradley Birkenfeld, of helping (a wealthy American real estate developer) evade taxes on $200 million held in bank accounts in Switzerland and Liechtenstein."
According to the indictment, "fictitious trusts and bogus corporations (were created) to conceal the ownership and control of offshore assets. They also advised clients to destroy bank records and helped them file false tax returns...."
National Whistleblowers Center (NWC) covers his case on whistleblowers.org, saying:
"Bradley Birkenfeld commenced serving a three-year and four-month sentence in federal prison on January 8, 2010, a direct result of blowing the whistle on one of the largest tax fraud schemes in US history."
On April 15, he filed an appeal for clemency.
Interviewed by Steve Kroft on CBS' 60 Minutes in January 2009, Birkenfeld said he's the first insider ever to explain the secretive world of Swiss banking. "It never happened before in history. I'm the first" to do it. Asked what percent of American accounts tried to evade taxes, he said among his own clients, "90%."
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