Former Swiss banker pleads guilty to helping Americans dodge taxes

WASHINGTON, April 30 Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:28pm EDT

WASHINGTON, April 30 (Reuters) - A former Swiss banker pleaded guilty on Wednesday to helping U.S. clients avoid taxes, according to documents filed in a federal court.

Swiss citizen Josef Dorig, 72, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia.

Dorig was indicted in 2011 with former bankers for Credit Suisse AG, Switzerland's second-largest bank. Dorig founded a trust company that worked with the bank, Reuters reported when the indictment was filed.

Credit Suisse was not named in Dorig's plea agreement. The plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee.

The plea is part of a long-running probe by U.S. authorities against Americans who hid assets in Swiss bank accounts in order to avoid taxes and against the bankers who aided them.

Dorig admitted to helping U.S. customers dodge income taxes by concealing assets and income in secret bank accounts held in sham entities from 1997 to 2011, according to the plea agreement.

"Today's plea further pulls back the curtain on efforts by Swiss banks to help U.S. taxpayers evade taxes through the use of sham trusts and foundations," Deputy Attorney General James Cole in a statement said.

Dorig is be sentenced on Aug. 8. He faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison, the Justice Department said.

The case is United States v. Dorig, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, No. 11-cr-00095. (Reporting by Patrick Temple-West; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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