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McCain Urge Justice Department to Seek Extradition in Tax Evasion Cases

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McCain Urge Justice Department to Seek Extradition in Tax Evasion Cases, (Mar. 20, 2014)

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations lawmakers on March 18 urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to seek extradition of Swiss residents whom the DOJ has charged with tax evasion offenses. Subcommittee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., and ranking member John McCain, R-Ariz., wrote Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole in response to his February 26 testimony before the subcommittee in a hearing on Swiss bank assistance of tax evasion in the United States (TAXDAY,

2014/02/27, C.4).

The letter points to Cole’s testimony that dozens of Swiss bankers and financial advisors have avoided trial on U.S. charges related to tax evasion. Cole testified that the DOJ has not sought their extradition because the Swiss government would refuse.

“The extradition treaty between the United States and Switzerland, however, does not bar the extradition of Swiss nationals who assisted U.S. nationals in the commission of criminal tax evasion, and it is time to test the Swiss government’s professed willingness to cooperate with international tax enforcement efforts,” stated Levin and McCain. “We are writing to urge a change in the current policy of the Department of Justice (DOJ) which, for more than five years, has not sought extradition from Switzerland of a single Swiss national charged with criminal conduct related to aiding and abetting U.S. tax evasion.”

The lawmakers reminded Cole that he had testified that the DOJ has charged 35 bankers and 25 financial advisors with misconduct related to facilitating U.S. tax evasion. “Of those, 6 have been convicted or pled guilty, and the majority of the rest apparently live openly in Switzerland, having avoided trial on their alleged crimes for years,” wrote the senators. They stated that Cole also testified that the DOJ has not asked Switzerland to extradite any of those defendants, because the DOJ believes “the Swiss will not extradite its citizens.”

“Given that the current treaty does not foreclose the cooperation of the Swiss government in extradition requests for tax cases, we urge DOJ to at least attempt to use the authorities laid out in that treaty,” wrote the lawmakers. “Even if a request is unsuccessful, it will inform both Switzerland and its citizens that the United States is ready to make full use of available legal tools to stop facilitation of U.S. tax evasion and hold alleged wrongdoers accountable.”

By Jeff Carlson, CCH News Staff

Letter from Sens. Levin and McCain to DOJ Regarding Swiss Extradition

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