Birkenfeld enters jail after initiating disclosure of UBS tax fraud scheme

At 2 pm today UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld surrendered to U.S. authorities and commenced serving a three-year and four-month sentence at the Schuylkill County Federal Correctional Institution in Minersville, Pennsylvania.

Stephen M. Kohn, the Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center and one of Mr. Birkenfeld’s attorneys issued the following statement:

"An American tragedy.  A disgraceful miscarriage of justice. An insult to every honest American who must work hard and pay their taxes.  The imprisonment of Bradley Birkenfeld, the most important tax whistleblower in history, is shocking and unjustified. This decision is not only grossly unfair and personally harmful to Mr. Birkenfeld, it will also have a radical chilling effect on the willingness of other bankers to step forward and expose fraud. This is devastating to any efforts to expose the use of illegal offshore bank accounts by criminals who want to avoid taxes."  

"After a careful investigation, we have now demonstrated that the justifications provided by the Justice Department for this unprecedented act of retaliation against a whistleblower were not true.  Justice Department lawyers misled the public and a court in justifying their reasons for indicting Mr. Birkenfeld and asking the Court to sentence him to a long prison term."

The National Whistleblower Center, through its TAKE ACTION advocacy program, is urging people to contact the Attorney General and request that the Birkenfeld case be reviewed and the decision to imprison him be reconsidered.



"Mr. Birkenfeld’s 40-month sentence is a direct result of blowing the whistle on one of the largest tax fraud schemes in U.S. history, which has resulted in UBS bank paying a $780 million penalty to the United States, and over 14,000 "taxpayers" voluntarily disclosing their illegal offshore accounts. Mr. Birkenfeld’s disclosures have resulted in a multi-billion dollar net-gain to American taxpayers, and have forced UBS bank to shut down a massive illegal offshore banking practice.  He is a hero, not a criminal.  He did the right thing in voluntarily stepping forward and exposing these massive frauds.  He deserves our thanks and praise, not the terrible fate that awaits him in prison."

"We are asking every person who wants to stop illegal offshore banking that results in over $100 billion in tax losses per/year to the United States to TAKE ACTION and write to the Attorney General, asking that the Justice Department’s decision to imprison Mr. Birkenfeld be reconsidered."

Dean Zerbe, co-counsel  for Mr. Birkenfeld, stated:  "This is a sad day for Brad and his family.   A tragedy for the honest American taxpayers who will shoulder higher taxes because a generation of tax whistleblowers will be discouraged from coming forward."

This miscarriage of justice will have the perverse effect of silencing whistleblowers who want to report tax fraud. In our entire history tracking whistleblower cases, this is the most abhorrent action ever taken against a whistleblower.  Mr. Birkenfeld deserves to be commended for protecting the American people and yet he faces the loss of his liberty.
TAKE ACTION! Demand Attorney General Holder review Birkenfeld’s case!

The facts of the case are clear:
TAKE ACTION! Tell Attorney General Holder that you want a high-level independent review of the Birkenfeld case!
Tax Notes has named Mr. Birkenfeld as their inaugural "Person of the Year" and the New York Daily News has asserted that Mr. Birkenfeld should be given a "statue on Wall Street, not a prison sentence." With articles like these and stories on 60 Minutes, Democracy Now and Fox Business News, the public has begun to understand why Mr. Birkenfeld’s sentence is not only unjust – it is dangerous to American taxpayers and the worldwide efforts to stop corruption.  

Now that the Government has decided to incarcerate Mr. Birkenfeld, the Justice Department might as well tell every American to open up a Swiss Bank Account and avoid paying taxes.  What whistleblower will come forward after seeing Bradley Birkenfeld sent to prison?

TAKE ACTION! Show your support for Bradley Birkenfeld by sending him a copy of your letter!

We need your help NOW! Please send a letter to Attorney General Holder and President Obama demanding that corrective action be taken immediately.  Then forward this action alert to as many people as possible and post it to your facebook, twitter, and other social networking sites. Together we can make it clear that this is unacceptable!

If you are outside of the United States please click here to Take Action.

Pass this message on to your friends and family!


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