Today, Bradley Birkenfeld, the whistleblower who exposed the $20 billion illegal UBS tax fraud scheme, submitted a direct appeal to President Barack Obama and filed an official petition requesting clemency. Mr. Birkenfeld blew the whistle on a $20 billion program run by UBS designed to recruit wealthy Americans and assist them in evading U.S. taxes.
The clemency petition was submitted on April 15th, the deadline for Americans to file their taxes, because the information Mr. Birkenfeld provided has led to the recovery of billions of tax dollars by the IRS.
In the appeal to President Obama, Mr. Birkenfeld’s attorneys, Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center and Dean Zerbe former counsel to the Senate Finance Committee, wrote:
“There has never been such an important tax whistleblower in U.S. history. There has never been one courageous individual who, standing along and confronting (at the time) the largest bank in the world, made disclosures that resulted in the recovery for the U.S. taxpayers of billions of dollars.”
Despite the Department of Justice admission that “but for Mr. Birkenfeld” the illegal UBS scheme “would have gone undetected by the U.S. government,” Bradley Birkenfeld was prosecuted and sentenced to 40-months in federal prison, which he is currently serving. Mr. Birkenfeld’s attorneys pointed out the chilling effect this lengthy prison sentence will have on corporate whistleblowers, specifically those in the international banking industry.
The NWC is urging all members of the public to participate in Bradley Birkenfeld’s clemency campaign by sending letters of support to President Obama and the Pardon Attorney. To submit a letter, please click here.