The curtain is being peeled back on the infamous secrecy of Swiss banks.
The largest bank in Switzerland, UBS, agreed Wednesday to reveal the names of wealthy Americans whom the authorities suspect of using offshore accounts to evade taxes.
The change in policy is the result of UBS' admitted role in conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service. As part of the agreement, the bank will pay $780 million in damages, and also close all offshore accounts of its American clients.
It is not clear how many names will be divulged, but the Feds have been looking into roughly 19,000 accounts, according to the New York Times.
The deal could mark the end of Swiss banking as we know it, as many offshore clients may no longer trust the anonymity of the country's banking system.
Prosecutors suspect that UBS helped its American clients hide $20 billion from the government, or about $300 million a year in taxes, from late 2002 to 2007. UBS has admitted that some of its employees "participated in a scheme to defraud the United States"
Read the UBS Agreement here:
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