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Swiss Bank Admits to $5.6 Billion Tax Evasion Scheme, Settles for $120 Million

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Banque Pictet, the private banking arm of the Pictet Group based in Switzerland, has admitted to conspiring with U.S. taxpayers to hide billions of dollars from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in over 1,600 secret bank accounts. The Justice Department revealed on Monday that Banque Pictet has agreed to pay over $120 million in restitution to the U.S. Treasury as part of a settlement.

The bank’s involvement in the tax evasion scheme spanned from 2008 through 2014, during which it conspired with American taxpayer clients to conceal more than $5.6 billion of the approximately $20 billion in U.S. assets. This led to an evasion of around $50.6 million in U.S. taxes, according to prosecutors.

Of the $5.6 billion concealed, the funds were distributed across 1,637 accounts, implicating more than 40% of the total 3,736 private accounts owned by U.S. taxpayers held by the bank. Banque Pictet reportedly assisted its American clients in hiding their undeclared accounts through various means, including the formation and administration of offshore entities. Undeclared accounts were then maintained in the names of these entities on behalf of U.S. taxpayer clients.

Jim Lee, Chief of IRS Criminal Investigation, emphasized the importance of the case in sending a strong message to those attempting to hide assets and income offshore. Lee stated, “This case should provide a clear message to others who try to hide their assets and income offshore. Offshore tax evasion is a priority for IRS Criminal Investigation.”

The settlement underscores the ongoing efforts by U.S. authorities to combat tax evasion and sends a clear warning to financial institutions and individuals involved in such illicit activities. As regulatory scrutiny intensifies globally, financial institutions face increasing pressure to ensure compliance with international tax laws and prevent their involvement in tax evasion schemes.

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Economy

Analysis: the 7.2 million illegals Biden has let enter the U.S. is larger than the population of 36 states

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For those who can’t comprehend the magnitude of what the Biden administration’s poor border policies have done, the nearly 7.3 million migrants who have illegally crossed the southwest border  on Biden’s watch is a greater amount than the population of 36 individual states.

A Fox News analysis looked at data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which shows the total number of southwest land border encounters since Biden assumed office in 2021 is 7,298,486. The CBP already reported 961,537 border encounters in the current fiscal year, which runs from October through September.

Fox News reports:

If the current pace of illegal immigration does not slow down, fiscal year 2024 will break last year’s record of 2,475,669 southwest border encounters — a number that by itself exceeds the population of New Mexico, a border state.

That is larger than the population of 36 U.S. states, including Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

The analysis found that compared to the largest U.S. states, the 7.3 million number is about 18.7% of California’s population of 39 million; 23.9% of the state of Texas and its 31 million residents; 32.3% of the population of Florida; and 37.3% of New York. It’s more than half the size of Pennsylvania, Illinois and Ohio.

Were the number of illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. under President Biden gathered together to found a city, it would be the second-largest city in America after New York. And the total does not include an estimated additional 1.8 million known “gotaways” who evaded law enforcement, which would make it bigger than New York.

This unprecedented surge in illegal immigration isn’t an accident. It is the result of deliberate policy choices by the Biden administration,” said Eric Ruark, Director of Research for Numbers USA, a nonprofit that advocates for immigration restrictions.

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