Bloomberg News

Ex-UBS Customer Pleads Guilty to Hiding Swiss Bank Account

July 14, 2011

(Updates with prosecutor’s comment in eighth paragraph.)

July 14 (Bloomberg) -- A New York podiatrist pleaded guilty to failing to report his $3.11 million Swiss account at UBS AG to U.S. authorities.

Anton Ginzburg, 51, admitted today in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, to failing to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts form, or FBAR, for 2007.

“I knew that I should file this form but I did not do so,” he told U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert M. Levy.

Ginzburg’s case is part of a U.S. crackdown on tax evasion. Zurich-based UBS, Switzerland’s biggest bank, agreed in 2009 to pay $780 million to defer prosecution for aiding tax evasion by U.S. clients. The bank admitted that its Swiss private bankers helped wealthy Americans evade U.S. taxes from 2000 to 2007.

Jeffrey Harris, Ginzburg’s lawyer at Rubin, Winston, Diercks, Harris & Cooke LLP in Washington, declined to comment after the hearing.

“This is just a case where a guy had an account with after-tax dollars, lost money and did not file a form,” he said in a phone interview earlier today.

Ginzburg agreed to pay a civil penalty of half the account’s balance. He faces a maximum of five years in prison. Levy set sentencing for Nov. 17.

“Those who willfully conceal assets overseas undermine the playing field for all taxpayers,” U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement.

U.S. citizens or residents with a foreign financial account worth more than $10,000 in a particular year must disclose the account to the Treasury Department in an FBAR report by June 30 of the following year, according to Lynch’s statement.

The case is U.S. v. Ginzburg, 11-cr-432, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).

--With assistance from David Voreacos in Newark, New Jersey. Editors: Mary Romano, Charles Carter

To contact the reporter on this story: Thom Weidlich in Brooklyn, New York, federal court at tweidlich@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.


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