Switzerland-based Valiant Bank has reached a resolution with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) over the tax evasion cases under the department’s Swiss bank programme.
The bank has agreed to pay a penalty of $3.304m to the US to avoid prosecution over allegations that it may have helped US citizens avoid paying taxes.
Under the terms of the non-prosecution deal, the bank agreed to cooperate in any related criminal or civil proceedings and demonstrate implementation of controls to prevent misconduct.
The US DoJ in a statement said that Valiant Bank held a total of 330 US related accounts, out of a total of 600,000 accounts with an aggregate value of $147.4m since 1 August 2008.
Founded in 1824 and based in Bern, Valiant provided mail services and numbered accounts to hundreds of US clients, including 26 who refused to provide the bank with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form W-9.
The department added that the bank managed some US related accounts in the name of non US entities with one or more US beneficial owners.
Justice Department tax division acting assistant attorney general Caroline Ciraolo said: "Those engaged in this criminal conduct who choose not to come forward, or come forward but offer only limited cooperation, picking and choosing the facts disclosed and attempting to minimize culpability, will quickly learn that the department is committed to aggressively investigating and prosecuting these offenses, and holding both individuals and entities accountable."
IRS large business & international division acting deputy commissioner David Horton said: "These settlements ensure that U.S. taxpayers report their foreign accounts and pay their taxes on the income earned on those accounts. They also provide additional information that supports our efforts to fight offshore tax evasion and those who may be aiding this unlawful behaviour."