On January 28, 2010, the Washington Post announced that the Swiss government has suspended the disclosure of information about tax cheats to the United States under a February 2009 “deferred prosecution” agreement and may seek to renegotiate the deal. Under the agreement the Swiss government was supposed to provide the U.S. with 4,450 accounts of the 52,000 secret accounts not declared to the IRS.
Basically, this means that 14,700 people walked away without prosecution under the IRS amnesty program, the head of entire illegal UBS program Martin Liechti was allowed to return to Switzerland without prosecution, the 4,450 tax cheats are likely to escape prosecution, and Bradley Birkenfeld (the person responsible for blowing the whistle and ending the illegal UBS program) is still the only banker sitting in prison.
When will the U.S. government wake up? Bradley Birkenfeld’s prison sentence is not only unjust in terms of how they treated every other person associated with the UBS scandal, it is permanently harming national and international efforts to fight corruption. Once again, what whistleblower is going to want to come forward after seeing how Mr. Birkenfeld was treated?