Report: Swiss bank whistleblower has more to say, wants a pardon

Brian Ross Investigates — The $100 Million Dollar Whistleblower: Bradley Birkenfeld

The Swiss bank whistleblower who outed Americans’ secret USB bank accounts says he has information on more wrongdoing. Bradley Birkenfeld, who is described on his website as the “worlds most celebrated whistleblower,” appeared at an offshore fraud and financial services conference in Miami in April. Birkenfeld was “treated like a celebrity,” reported journalist Brian Ross, who covered the event for Law & Crime Network, a legal website and streaming service.

The National Whistleblower Center supported Mr. Birkenfeld in his case, which involved a $20 billion tax evasion scheme.

From the web site:

Authorities credit Birkenfeld with, essentially, bringing to an end the decades-long Swiss banking secrecy which made it impossible for law enforcement to discover the Americans with hidden accounts.

Birkenfeld was jailed in connection with the case and collected his reward when he was release in 2012. A headline in a 2017 Bloomberg story described him as “The USB Whistle-blower Who Won’t Back Down”

The story quotes Birkenfeld saying he is preparing to disclose the names two prominent Americans with the offshore accounts. The bank had $20 billion in assets from Americans, but US authorities did not take action against all of them, he said. Birkenfeld, who also served jail time in the case, said he is seeking a pardon from President Trump.

The IRS rewards those who provide original information about tax evasion if their information results in a sanction against the tax law violator. Last year, whistleblowers helped the IRS collect more than $1.4 billion in criminal fines and civil forfeitures, according to the agency.

Of that record amount, more than $300 million went to IRS whistleblowers – an average of 21.7 percent of proceeds collected.That’s an increase from fiscal year 2017, when the average reward was 17 percent. Since 2007, the program has made more than $800 million in whistleblower awards based on the collection of $5 billion.

The Law and Crime Network story reported that US government officials appearing at the conference “boasted of the more than $500 million paid by the United States this last year to whistleblowers. No single whistleblower has ever been paid more than Birkenfeld.”





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