Bloomberg News

UBS Employee Tax-Evasion Probe Dropped by German Prosecutors

February 09, 2012

(Updates with UBS comment in fifth paragraph.)

Feb. 8 (Bloomberg) -- German prosecutors dropped a probe into three employees at UBS AG, Switzerland’s biggest bank, over allegations they helped clients evade taxes by hiding money in Switzerland.

A four-year-old investigation that included searches of offices and private property, didn’t support allegations initially made in a television-news report, prosecutors in Mannheim said in an e-mailed statement.

The unidentified employees at UBS’s branch in Baden-Baden, Germany, allegedly offered reporters from German television station ZDF, disguised as potential clients, assistance sending funds to Switzerland to hide them from German tax authorities.

UBS was charged in 2009 with aiding tax evasion by U.S. clients. The lender avoided prosecution by paying $780 million, admitting it fostered tax evasion, and giving the authorities data on customer accounts. In the past three years, U.S. prosecutors have filed tax charges against at least 40 U.S. clients of UBS and Credit Suisse Group AG, London-based HSBC Holding Plc, and other lenders.

“UBS was informed that the probe was closed and all allegations dropped,” Serge Steiner, a Zurich-based spokesman for the bank, said by telephone.

--With assistance from Oliver Suess in Munich and Elena Logutenkova in Zurich. Editors: Anthony Aarons, Christopher Scinta

To contact the reporter on this story: Karin Matussek in Berlin at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons in London at

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