February 21, 2009

US files new lawsuit in UBS bank secrets case to find tax cheats

By Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal authorities have filed a lawsuit against Swiss-based bank UBS AG seeking the identities of tens of thousands of U.S. customers.

The suit filed in Miami Thursday seeks to force the firm to turn over information on as many as 52,000 U.S. customers who hid their accounts from the U.S. government in violation of tax laws.

The move comes a day after the Justice Department struck a deal with UBS to get access to some of its customers who used Swiss bank secrecy law to hide billions of dollars in assets.

According to the government's lawsuit, the accounts in question held about $14.8 billion in assets in the past decade.

As part of its deal with prosecutors Wednesday, the bank agreed to pay $780 million in fines and penalties.

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