The investigation was spurred on by the revelations of a whistleblower.  The investigation opened in January 2015 also seeks to determine whether bearer bonds were made available to UBS clients as an investment vehicle, either directly or through UBS, who purchased and maintained the bonds on behalf of the client prior to the expiry of the 2009 deferred prosecution agreement with the US Department of Justice in 2009. The agreement expired in October 2010. If it is established that UBS has breached the agreement, the Confederation may charge UBS with further allegations of breach. In this case, prosecutors would likely seek significant fines and put UBS under prudential supervision.  The deferred prosecution agreement was approved Wednesday by a federal judge in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In 2007, Bradley Birkenfeld decided to share with the DOJ what he knew about UBS`s practices. At the same time, he wanted to use a new federal whistleblower law, the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006, which could pay him up to 30 percent of the tax revenue recovered by the IRS due to Birkenfeld`s information. Birkenfeld also wanted immunity from prosecution for his part in UBS`s transactions.  In April 2007, Birkenfeld`s lawyer sent the DOJ a summary of Birkenfeld`s information. The DOJ responded that it was not part of the IRS whistleblower program and would not grant immunity to birkenfeld.  However, Birkenfeld met with the DOJ.
When communication between Birkenfeld and the DOJ stopped, Birkenfeld contacted the Securities and Exchange Commission, the IRS, and the U.S. Senate.  In 2005, Bradley Birkenfeld, a UBS private banker, claimed that he had learned that UBS`s relationships with US clients contravened an agreement between the bank and the US. Internal Revenue Service.  He resigned from UBS on 5 October 2005 after reading an internal document from UBS`s legal department describing cross-border banking prohibited in the United States. The bans were contrary to the job descriptions of asset managers serving U.S. clients in the United States. Birkenfeld believes the memorandum was prepared to provide legal cover for UBS should the illegal activities sanctioned by the banks be brought to light. The bank could then blame its employees.
 He then complained to UBS Compliance about the bank`s “unfair and misleading commercial practices”. When birkenfeld did not receive a response, he wrote three months later to Peter Kurer, then General Counsel of UBS, about the illegal practices.   He was associated with Union Charter Ltd., where he specialized in asset management and resigned on June 3, 2008.  “Today`s agreement is just one milestone in law enforcement`s ongoing efforts to assure hard-working, law-abiding taxpayers who pay their fair share of taxes that those who don`t will pay a high price,” said John A. DiCicco, deputy attorney general of the Justice Department`s Tax Department. “The veil of secrecy has been set aside, and we will continue to aggressively pursue those who evade their federal tax obligations or help others do so.” UBS, Switzerland`s largest bank, escaped prosecution in February 2009 by admitting to helping Americans evade taxes, paying $780 million and handing over 250 secret accounts. In an agreement with the Justice Department, the company promised to abide by the law and cooperate with the United States. UBS paid $US 780 million in fines and secured a deferred prosecution agreement to settle similar charges, but also handed over the names of 4,450 clients. This data transfer was only supported in 2010 by a short advance from the Swiss legislator.
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