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Ex-UBS banker gets 5 years’ probation in tax fraud case
MIAMI—A former banker at Swiss giant UBS AG was sentenced yesterday to five years’ probation and no jail time for tax fraud as a reward for helping US prosecutors build other tax evasion cases. Senior US District Judge James Lawrence King agreed that 45-year-old Renzo Gadola deserved leniency for his cooperation, which has led to charges against two former colleagues and at least one banking client. “You cooperated fully and the results have been extraordinary,” King said at a hearing. Gadola, who worked at UBS from 1995 to 2008 and later started his own business, had potentially faced at least ten months in prison after pleading guilty to tax fraud conspiracy in 2010. Prosecutors suggested a sentence of five months behind bars, but they also did not oppose the probation term that was handed down.
“He went through client by client, colleague by colleague,” said Mark Daly, a trial attorney with the US Justice Department’s tax division. “It has been extremely helpful.” Gadola is the latest of nearly two dozen bankers and advisers at UBS and other banks charged in the US with helping wealthy clients hide assets in Swiss accounts and dodge taxes. The Internal Revenue Service crackdown that began in 2009 has also led thousands of taxpayers to disclose their accounts under a voluntary program in which they avoided prosecution but still had to pay taxes and penalties. Zurich-based UBS itself avoided prosecution in the US by agreeing in 2009 to turn over accounts of more than 4,500 customers and paying a US$780 million fine. Gadola’s assistance included taking part in recorded phone calls with bank customers and providing details about the inner workings of UBS.
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