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Senior UBS banker detained in US tax probe

Published on 07/05/2008

7 May 2008

ZURICH – UBS AG said Wednesday a senior manager was briefly detained in the United States as part of an investigation into whether the Swiss bank helped US customers evade taxes.

UBS said the employee was briefly detained as a material witness and is still in the United States.

“Our understanding is that the respective employee, who has not been charged with any wrongdoing by the U.S. government, will remain in the United States pending discussions with the U.S. authorities regarding resolution of his status as a witness,” the company said in a statement.

UBS spokesman Serge Steiner said that the employee has the full support of UBS and that “at the moment he is in the United States until his status as a witness is clear".

He declined to provide details about the man or his detention.

The company says the US Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating Switzerland’s largest bank concerning its cross-border business.

The probe focuses on whether UBS helped its clients evade U.S. taxes between 2000 and 2007.

The company said the SEC was examining whether Swiss-based UBS client advisors engaged in activities that triggered an obligation for UBS Switzerland to register with the SEC as a broker-dealer or investment adviser.

UBS said it was cooperating with these investigations.

[AP / Expatica]