UBS official indicted in Florida in tax fraud scheme

The head of wealth management operations for Swiss banking giant UBS has been indicted for conspiring to help thousands of U.S. clients dodge federal income taxes by hiding assets in secret offshore accounts.

The indictment, handed up by a federal grand jury in Fort Lauderdale and unsealed Wednesday, alleges that between 2002 and 2007, Raoul Weil and the Swiss bank's cross-border business helped about 20,000 U.S. clients conceal about $20 billion in assets in secret Swiss bank accounts. The business generated about $200 million in annual revenue for the bank.

Weil faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The indictment says bankers solicited new business from U.S. clients at Art Basel Miami Beach, a lavish event that UBS sponsors.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta said, "Every American who pays his or her taxes should be offended that a select few use anonymous offshore accounts to avoid paying their fair share.''

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