(Inserts dropped "million" in fourth paragraph)
By Zachary Fagenson
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Dec 16 Raoul Weil, a
former high-ranking UBS banker charged with tax fraud by U.S.
authorities, was freed on bail of $10.5 million on Monday in
federal court in Fort Lauderdale.
Weil, a 54-year-old Swiss citizen, is charged with helping
Americans dodge taxes via secret Swiss bank accounts.
Weil appeared in shackles in federal court in Fort
Lauderdale three days after he was extradited from Italy. He did
not enter a plea and his arraignment was postponed until January
U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick Hunt agreed to let Weil stay
with friends in New Jersey after putting up the bond, which
included $9 million in a personal surety by Weil, $500,000 from
the New Jersey family and the other $1 million a corporate
surety bond signed with a bail bondsman.
Weil, the ex-head of wealth management at UBS, was
arrested in mid-October on vacation with his wife at an upscale
hotel in the northern Italian city of Bologna. He was extradited
to the United States late last week after an Italian judge
rejected a request for house arrest.
If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.
The judge ordered Weil be placed on a GPS monitoring system
and surrender his passport.
Weil's attorney told the court that his client had assets of
$11.2 million, all held offshore, mostly in cash and securities.
His trial could help the United States and other Western
countries step up their hunt for individuals and companies that
use opaque offshore financial centers to avoid paying taxes.
Five years ago the United States charged Weil and other
unnamed executives from UBS with helping more than 17,000
Americans conceal $20 billion in secret Swiss bank accounts.
Weil disputed the charges and was declared a fugitive a few
He left UBS after being indicted, and joined a small Swiss
bank, Reuss Private Group.
In a landmark 2009 settlement UBS paid a $780 million fine
and agreed to hand over the names of U.S. clients with secret
accounts, breaking Switzerland's tradition of banking secrecy,
to avoid feared criminal charges against the bank or other
(Writing by David Adams; Editing by Dan Grebler)