US charges Swiss bank with aiding in tax fraud

The Associated Press
Posted Feb. 02, 2012, at 10 p.m.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Justice Department says it has indicted Switzerland’s oldest private bank, claiming it conspired with Americans and others to hide more than $1.2 billion in client assets from the Internal Revenue Service.

Justice officials said Thursday that they also seized more than $16 million from Wegelin & Co.’s correspondent bank in the U.S.

The move comes about a month after U.S. authorities indicted three client advisers at the St. Gallen, Switzerland-based bank on similar charges.

Wegelin has denied violating Swiss law over the past decade.

Last month, it said it was preparing for an expected dispute with U.S. tax officials.

It also has taken steps to sell most of its business to Raiffeisen Group.

An email seeking comment from Raiffeisen was not immediately returned Thursday.

New rules compel disclosure of 401(k) fees

LOS ANGELES — The Obama administration is taking steps to make the fees charged in 401(k) plans more transparent and broaden the options retirees have for drawing on their nest egg.

The U.S. Treasury Department and Department of Labor each set forth new rules or proposed regulations that apply to 401(k) plans on Thursday.

Treasury’s proposed regulations would make it easier for people with 401(k) plans to receive part of their funds as an annuity, a plan that pays out regularly over a lifetime.

Such plans can be useful options because people are living longer and some may end up outliving their savings or, fearful of such an outcome, hold back on spending more than necessary.

“Having the ability to choose from expanded options will help retirees and their families achieve both greater value and security,” Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said in a statement.

Upon retirement, people with savings in a 401(k) plan typically are given the choice to take a lump sum or receive funds as an annuity. The proposed regulations seek to make it simpler for companies to offer employees combinations of an annuity and a single-sum cash payment, and make it easier for retirees to buy so-called longevity annuities. Those start paying out when beneficiaries hi t an advance age, say after age 80.

Treasury plans to finalize the regulations by the end of the year.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/02/02/news/nation/us-charges-swiss-bank-with-aiding-in-tax-fraud/ printed on September 21, 2014