Tax preparers charged using Israel bank for fraud
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Three managers of U.S. tax preparation company United Revenue Service Inc have been charged with conspiracy and tax evasion by establishing undeclared bank accounts for clients at Luxembourg and Switzerland branches of Israeli banks.
United Revenue Service former chief executive officer David Kalai, his son and former president Nadav Kalai, and David Almog, who was a manager at the company's New York branch, were charged with conspiracy in a grand jury indictment filed Thursday in federal court in Los Angeles.
The Israeli banks were not identified.
According to the indictment, the three men allegedly helped clients in setting up undeclared accounts from about April 2000 to March 2011 at the branches of two Israeli banks, identified as Bank A Luxembourg and Bank B Switzerland-Luxembourg.
The three along with an unindicted co-conspirator, created offshore companies in Belize and elsewhere "to act as named account holders on the undeclared bank accounts" in order to hide the clients' ownership and conceal the clients' income from the Internal Revenue Service, the indictment said.
The number for the United Revenue Service in Costa Mesa, California, where David Kalai, where worked, was disconnected.
A spokeswoman for the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles had no immediate comment.
Sandra Brown, head of the tax division at the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles, was not immediately available.
In September, Reuters reported U.S. authorities were scrutinizing three of Israel's largest banks over suspicions their Swiss outposts helped American clients evade taxes.
At the time people briefed on the matter said the banks under scrutiny by the U.S. Justice Department's criminal tax division were Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi le-Israel BM and Mizrahi-Tefahot.
The shift to Israel from Switzerland, for years the main focus of the Justice Department's campaign against offshore private banking secrecy, signaled the broadening of a landmark probe by the agency that began in 2007 with UBS AG, Switzerland's largest bank.
United Revenue Service was incorporated in the state of Nevada with multiple locations in the United States. The case is U.S. v. Almog, 11-00930, U.S. District Court, Central District of California.
(Reporting by Susan Zeidler)