IRS Gives Bank Whistleblower $104 Million

Bradley Birkenfeld tattled on UBS
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2012 5:57 PM CDT
A 2010 file photo of Bradley Birkenfeld.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

(Newser) – Bradley Birkenfeld just became the most popular guy in his halfway house. The IRS has given the former UBS banker the staggering sum of $104 million under its whistleblower program, reports Bloomberg. Birkenfeld spelled out how the bank helped rich Americans dodge taxes by stashing their money in Swiss accounts, which resulted in UBS paying a $780 million settlement in 2009.

Birkenfeld got a 40-month sentence for his role in the banking scheme, but his lawyers filed a claim under a new law that gives whistleblowers up to 30% of money recovered, notes the Wall Street Journal. "The result is that taxpayers are more likely to come forward, large companies will be more concerned about being turned in, and the IRS whistleblower program is likely to become a more important component of tax enforcement," says one tax attorney. Birkenfeld recently moved to a halfway house to finish out his sentence.

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