I.  Are Secret Swiss Bank Accounts Still A Viable Concealment Tool?

The number of secret Swiss bank accounts held by U.S. citizens has decreased in recent years. This is due to FATCA; and Qualified Intermediary Withholding Agreements with the IRS; and the U.S. Government’s Swiss Bank Program. According to my counsel in Switzerland, many Swiss banks refuse to open bank accounts for U.S. citizens because of reporting requirements the banks have to the IRS. Meanwhile, “Roger” the former foreign intelligence officer featured at some of my blog posts, had a different view.  Roger told me if Swiss bankers already knew you, some of them would still help you hide your assets.

II.  Common Concealment Methods & Swiss Life Holding AG

As the IRS started to focus on tax evaders hiding assets at Swiss banks, many of the tax evaders hid assets in other ways. Some of these tax evaders started hiding assets with the help of the insurance company, Swiss Life Holding AG and 3 of its subsidiaries (referred to collectively as “Swiss Life”). At their information filed May 14, 2021, prosecutors in the U.S. accused Swiss Life of conspiring from 2005 to 2014 with tax evaders.  During those years Swiss Life had reportedly helped tax evaders hide assets and income in offshore accounts. However, on or about May 14, 2021, prosecutors also made a deferred prosecution agreement with Swiss Life. The agreement’s Statement of Facts suggests Swiss Life used these concealment methods to assist the tax evaders:

III.  How To Search For Hidden Money At Offshore Banks

If your adversary has hidden money from you offshore, consider using private investigators and letters rogatory (a.k.a. letters of request or requests for legal assistance).  Private investigators may be able to collect a tip from an informant who knows about your adversary’s financial affairs and dislikes your adversary / has an axe to grind.  Informants can be ex-wives, paramours, disgruntled employees, former business partners, etc.  If your adversary does actually have a secret offshore bank account, a tip from an informant could conceivably help you locate this account.

You might also apply to the Court for letters rogatory. A letter rogatory is a court order directing a witness in a foreign country to supply evidence. Court’s typically issue letters rogatory pursuant to The Hague Convention of March 18, 1970 on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters. You might be able to use a letter rogatory to gather your adversary’s bank account information from a Swiss bank or other offshore bank witness. Below is a letter rogatory from the Family Court in Ankara, Turkey.  The letter rogatory was authorized last month by a federal court in the State of Delaware.  It seeks bank account information from Bank of America in the U.S., about 4 individuals because of a probate matter in Turkey. The Family Court in Turkey issued the letter rogatory since it considers Bank of America in the United States, to be a witness located in a foreign country.

Click On The Image To Read The Turkish Family Court’s Letter Rogatory 

Copyright 2022 Fred L. Abrams