Feds, Swiss Call Timeout in US Tax Evasion Case

By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2009 4:03 PM CDT
Mark Branson, chief financial officer for UBS Global Wealth Management, testifies before a Senate subcommittee as it examines how offshore banks maybe helping US clients evade taxes.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Aiming to avoid an ugly international dispute, the US government, Switzerland, and a Swiss bank are seeking to delay a hearing over private bank accounts, the Wall Street Journal reports. The respite would give government officials and UBS until August to strike a deal over data on some 52,000 alleged US tax evaders. The Justice Department and IRS want it; UBS and Switzerland say handing it over would violate Swiss law.

Court filings and a DoJ statement suggest that UBS could accuse some clients of fraud, providing a legal basis for disclosing private information. But the DoJ still wants information on a "significant number of individuals with UBS accounts," the statement says. A federal judge will hear the request for a stay tomorrow.