Raoul Weil, who once ran UBS's global wealth-management business, was cleared at trial of tax conspiracy despite the bank’s historic admission in 2009 that it helped thousands of U.S. clients abuse Swiss bank secrecy to cheat the Internal Revenue Service.
Bloomberg News reports that the federal jury in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, reached its verdict after deliberating about 90 minutes on Monday.
Weil, 54, was indicted in 2008 on a charge of conspiring to help as many as 17,000 U.S. taxpayers hide $20 billion from the IRS. Weil was arrested last year in Bologna, Italy, and waived extradition. Weil, who didn’t testify, had faced five years in prison.
Weil is the highest-ranking official of three dozen foreign bankers, lawyers and advisers charged in a seven-year U.S. probe of offshore tax evasion. UBS, the largest Swiss bank, avoided prosecution in February 2009 by paying a $780 million fine and admitting it helped clients evade taxes from 2000 to 2007.
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