The man who blew the whistle on UBS Bank, getting a $104m award and costing the firm $780m for tax evasion, has sued his attorneys, claiming he went to prison because they failed to secure whistleblower protection for him.
Birkenfeld, of Massachusetts native, says he was a senior client adviser for the Swiss bank, but resigned in 2005 and filed a whistleblower complaint with UBS. He hired Schertler Onorato to represent him, but attorneys bungled the case by not filing forms with the IRS, not advising him of his impending indictment, then refusing to turn over its files to his new attorneys during his criminal trial, Birkenfeld says in the complaint.
He claims the firm falsely held itself out as experienced and knowledgeable about federal whistleblower laws and procedures, but had 'very limited experience in the area of obtaining compensation and immunity for whistleblowers under federal law'.
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image: © Steven Depolo