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December 22, 10

NEWS / Former UBS Banker Pleads Guilty to Helping American Client Conceal Assets Offshore


SEC Registered Banker Caught on Tape Persuading Client to Not Disclose Offshore Account

WASHINGTON - Renzo Gadola, 44, has pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States, the Justice Department announced today. Gadola, a former UBS banker, was arrested in Miami after meeting with a client at a Miami hotel and attempting to persuade that client to not disclose to the United States that the client owned and controlled a bank account at Basler Kantonalbank, a regional bank headquartered in Basel, Switzerland. Gadola is scheduled to be sentenced on March 10, 2011, by U.S. District Judge James L. King. He faces a maximum of five years in prison.

According to court documents, Gadola, a citizen and resident of Switzerland, was a registered investment advisor with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). From approximately 1995 through August of 2008, Gadola was employed as a private banker by UBS AG, Switzerland’s largest bank. In February 2009, Gadola began working in Switzerland as an independent investment advisor, doing business under the name RG Investment Partner AG.

According to court documents, Gadola worked closely with a fellow former UBS banker who was not registered with the SEC and who had indicated that he was afraid of traveling to the United States for fear of being arrested because of his cross-border banking activities. Hence, the two arranged that Gadola would travel to the United States and meet with the clients to discuss their investments in undeclared accounts.

According to court documents, on Nov. 6, 2010, Gadola met with a client in a Miami hotel. The meeting was recorded. This client owned and controlled an undeclared account at Basler Kantonalbank. The undeclared account was funded when the client provided Gadola’s partner, the former UBS banker, with approximately $445,000 in cash. The client gave the cash to Gadola’s partner during two meetings at a hotel in New Orleans.

According to court documents, during the Nov. 6, 2010, meeting, Gadola attempted to persuade the client to not disclose the Basler Kantonalbank account to United States authorities. Gadola told the client that there was a "99.9 %" chance the client had nothing to worry about because the "likelihood . . .that they will somehow. . . find out about the account is practically zero percent." Further, Gadola told the client that there was no "paper trail" associated with the undeclared account.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division John DiCicco, and IRS Special Agent in Charge Daniel W. Auer commended the investigative efforts of the IRS agents involved in this case, as well as Senior Litigation Counsel Kevin M. Downing, Trial Attorney Mark F. Daly, Trial Attorney Michelle M. Petersen of the Tax Division, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey A. Neiman, who are prosecuting the case.

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2010/December/10-tax-1474.html

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