Bank Hapoalim pleads guilty for helping its clients hide USD 7.6 billion

Monday 4 May 2020 12:59 CET | News

Israel-based Bank Hapoalim has pleaded guilty in Manhattan's federal court on April 30 for helping its US clients hide USD 7.6 billion from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

According to the US Department of Justice, the bank and its subsidiary were fined USD 874 million for helping clients conceal their US assets in secret bank accounts. Several bank officials were engaged in this fraudulent activity from 2002 to 2014 by providing false identities and pseudonyms for their clients according to an article in Law 360.

As part of its plea agreement, the bank agreed to comply with the Department of Justice's Swiss Bank Program that provides Switzerland-based banks an opportunity to avoid criminal prosecution by providing information to the IRS. As a stipulation in this agreement, the bank will turn over any information regarding accounts that were closed between 2009 to 2019.

If the bank continues to work with the DOJ for the next three years on further investigations into hidden accounts, it will avoid further prosecution. Once it has met all stipulations of the agreement, the bank's fraud charges will be dismissed, however, bank clients involved in using the bank to defraud the IRS are not protected by the agreement and can face civil or criminal charges. 

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Keywords: Israel, bank, IRS, Bank HaPoalim, US, fraud, Swiss Bank Program, Switzerland
Categories: Banking & Fintech
Countries: Israel
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