Financial Fraud Victims Could Profit From Swiss Financial Institution’s Disclosures

1 year ago

Swiss banking big UBS’ determination to turn over info on 4,450 “secret” financial institution accounts to the U.S. Inner Revenue Service alerts a serious shift in accountability for the world’s monetary markets. We spoke about the affect of this with Michael Diaz, Jr., managing partner of the Miami based mostly international regulation agency Diaz, Reus & Targ, LLP.

Financial Fraud Regulation Weblog: What does the UBS settlement imply to fraud victims?

Mr. Diaz: That’s good news for fraud victims in South Florida and throughout the country, because locating a criminal’s financial institution accounts is the primary, and perhaps most necessary, step toward freezing these property. Then, if the victims prevail in court, those funds could be recovered to offer compensation for their losses.

Monetary Fraud Law Weblog: Can you inform us what worldwide banks should be fascinated about right now?

Mr. Diaz: Different worldwide banks should now recognize the significance of opening their records and cooperating with investigators. In today’s local weather, banks in conventional tax-shelter jurisdictions from Switzerland to the Cayman Islands understand that they may now not be ready to ensure a customer’s privacy within the face of a reliable investigation. In the UBS dispute, Switzerland’s Justice Minster Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf noted that UBS may have faced criminal prosecution had it not launched its records to the IRS. It’s not simply Swiss bankers who see that the world is changing. When fraud victims file suit, each U.S. and international courts at this time are more open-minded about the potential need for rapid treatments, such as freezing a defendant’s belongings with out notification. Those kinds of excessive steps change into obligatory when a monetary con artist can shortly switch funds from one jurisdiction to a different.

Of course, freezing a defendant’s funds in an offshore bank account is just one step in the lengthy and complex asset-recovery process. With the intention to prevail in courtroom, Fraud Check Swizerland victims must build a strong case proper from the beginning, comparable to conducting a thorough evaluation of all fraud-related documents, including e-mail messages, fund transfers and receipts.

Monetary Fraud Law Weblog: Realistically, what likelihood do fraud victims have of finding overseas accounts anyway?

M. Diaz: Earlier than filing a lawsuit, a fraud victim might want to conduct a careful, non-public investigation with the intention to establish potential witnesses and determine the place investors’ money has been hidden. At the same time, the victim’s authorized group can start preparing the lawsuits, which may should be filed overseas as well as in the U.S. The general strategy is to have a robust case to present to the judge with out alerting the defendant prematurely. In my experience, the factor of shock is extraordinarily essential in any asset restoration case. Primarily based on the UBS action, world banks in the present day usually tend to cooperate with investigators than they’ve been up to now. In any other case, they run the risk of being accused of complicity with any criminal actions. For fraud victims, that’s a clearly a change for the better.

Monetary Fraud Regulation Blog: Thanks, Michael.

Published by A.S. Pratt within the July-August 2012 problem of the Monetary Fraud Law Report.