Former UBS exec denies tax evasion charges

Former UBS exec denies tax evasion charges
Photo: UBS
Raoul Weil, the former UBS executive accused of helping thousands of wealthy Americans evade taxes on assets of around $20 billion, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday before a federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Weil, a 54-year-old Swiss citizen, is the former head of global wealth management at Switzerland's largest bank.

He was charged five years ago with conspiring to help thousands of US citizens to dodge taxes by concealing their wealth through accounts at the bank.

After being declared a fugitive, he was arrested in October last year on an international warrant while on holiday in Bologna, Italy.

Weil was subsequently extradited to the US where he was released on $10.5 million bail last month.

"We look forward to coming back to Florida, and defend him," Weil's lawyer Aaaron Marcu told reporters, according to a report from Reuters.

A date for the trial has yet to be set.

As a top executive at UBS, Weil worked as the superior of Bradley Birkenfeld, the former Geneva employee of the bank who blew the whistle on its tax fraud activities in 2007.

Birkenfeld's revelations led to UBS agreeing to pay the US government a $780 million penalty and to reveal the account details of several thousand US taxpayers suspected of tax evasion.

Birkenfeld was convicted and jailed for his role in abetting tax fraud but was later issued a record $104 million reward from the US Internal Revenue Service for helping to expose the illegal activity.  

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