DOJ officials announced criminal resolutions with several Switzerland-based banks and asset managers in the third quarter of 2018, as the IRS’s Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program for U.S. taxpayers with undeclared assets overseas came to a close on September 28. In announcing resolutions with NPB Neue Privat Bank AG, Mirelis Holding S.A., Bank Lombard Odier & Co., and Basler Kantonalbank, officials detailed years-long efforts by these firms to attract and retain U.S. clients with a number of “traditional Swiss banking services” to assist clients in concealing income and assets from U.S. authorities, including numbered or nominee accounts and “hold-mail” services. According to government filings, some firms specifically targeted U.S. clients whose accounts at other banks were being closed after increased scrutiny by U.S. and Swiss authorities, viewing the exodus of clients from cooperating banks as a business opportunity.
Among the recently announced resolutions are non-prosecution agreements whereby NPB Neue Privat Bank and Mirelis Holding S.A. will pay criminal penalties of $5 million and $10.2 million, respectively, as well as an addendum to DOJ’s 2015 non-prosecution agreement with Bank Lombard Odier & Co. Ltd. The Department also reached a deferred prosecution agreement with Basler Kantonalbank, under which the bank will pay a total of $60.4 million in criminal penalties, restitution, and civil forfeiture.