Federal prosecutors have announced some 150 wealthy Americans, all customers of Swiss bank UBS, are under investigation for suspected tax fraud.
They are among the more than 250 U.S. clients of UBS whose data were turned over to the IRS earlier this year as part of the initial settlement with the bank which also included a $780 million fine, according to USA Today.
According to the source, which cites records from a Florida federal court, some of those under investigation allegedly hid their ownership of the secret accounts by controlling them through entities in Hong Kong, Panama or the British Virgin Islands, a strategy revealed by former UBS banker Bradley Birkenfeld who cooperated with the U.S. authorities.
Last week, Bireknfeld was sentenced to 40 months in prison for conspiring to defraud the U.S. by helping a wealthy American real estate mogul conceal $200 million from the IRS in offshore accounts, according to the Telegraph.
Earlier this month, the IRS and UBS struck a deal whereby the government would drop a civil lawsuit against the financial institution in exchange for the bank releasing the names of more than 4,450 U.S. taxpayers with undeclared bank accounts.