U.S. Justice Dept. says no plans to drop UBS case

June 23rd, 2009


The Justice Department may drop a closely watched legal case aimed at forcing the Swiss bank UBS to divulge the names of 52,000 wealthy American clients suspected of offshore tax evasion, a United States official briefed on the matter said Monday. The move, which would halt an unusually aggressive effort to force Switzerland to lift its veil of banking secrecy, could happen by mid-July.

The reversal comes as UBS and senior Swiss government officials have mounted a fierce lobbying campaign to persuade Washington to drop the case. UBS argues that disclosing client names would cause it to violate Swiss financial secrecy laws and open its executives and bankers to prosecution in Switzerland.

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