November 18, 2010 / 8:42 PM / in 7 years

Ex-UBS client in NJ in tax evasion guilty plea

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former UBS AG client in New Jersey has pleaded guilty to hiding as much as $759,000 in a Swiss account from U.S. tax authorities, seven months after her father made a similar admission.

Federal prosecutors said Lucille Abrahamsen Jackson on Thursday admitted to filing a false tax return for 2005 that failed to disclose the UBS account and income generated by it.

The failure to reveal the account and file a required tax form allowed the Hillsdale, New Jersey, resident to underreport personal income from 2000 to 2007, said the office of U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman in New Jersey.

Jackson’s father Harry Abrahamsen on April 12 pleaded guilty to failing to report his own account and one in his daughter’s name, and concealing more than $1 million, prosecutors said.

“This has been a tragedy for Ms. Jackson,” her lawyer Robert Mintz said. “The account was set up by her father years ago, with money that never belonged to her.”

Jackson faces a maximum three years in prison plus a fine. She also agreed to a $380,000 civil penalty, or half the maximum value in her account, Fishman’s office said.

The defendant entered her plea before U.S. District Judge Dennis Cavanaugh in Newark federal court. Sentencing is scheduled for February 28.

UBS avoided U.S. criminal prosecution in February 2009 by agreeing to pay a $780 million penalty and hand over names on more than 250 client accounts. It later agreed to reveal data on roughly 4,450 accounts.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service withdrew a legal summons against UBS. The U.S. Department of Justice had in October dropped criminal charges against the bank.

At least 10 former UBS clients have been sentenced in the United States to terms ranging from probation to one year in prison, prosecutors have said.

The case is U.S. v. Jackson, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York, editing by Dave Zimmerman

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