Whistleblower Earns Largest IRS Award ever…After Serving 2½ Years in Prison
Bradley C. Birkenfeld did his time, and now will enjoy his freedom a little more. A few million more.
A former banker at UBS, Birkenfeld spent two and a half years in prison for helping a wealthy California developer, Igor Olenicoff, avoid paying $7.2 million in income taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). He also once helped a client by smuggling diamonds in a toothpaste tube.
Birkenfeld also helped the IRS unravel UBS’ schemes that encouraged wealthy Americans dodge their taxes. As a result of his whistleblowing, the IRS was able to recover billions of dollars in unpaid taxes from various individuals. UBS, meanwhile, paid $780 million to the U.S. government to avoid criminal prosecution and turned over account information for more than 4,500 Americans.
To show its gratitude, IRS officials gave Birkenfeld $104 million, the largest whistleblower award ever by the agency.
To Learn More:
Whistle-Blower Awarded $104 Million by I.R.S. (by David Kocieniewski, New York Times)
IRS Awards Whistleblower $104 Million for Exposing Swiss Bank Tax Dodge (by Michael Smallberg, Project on Government Oversight)
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