The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has rewarded a former banker with $104 million in what is being reported as the biggest whistleblower case ever, according to the Los Angeles Times. Bradley Birkenfeld confessed to assisting many Americans evade taxes.
Birkenfeld worked for the giant Swiss bank UBS, during which time he admitted to giving clients credit cards to access hidden cash in accounts untaxed by the IRS. Another tactic used was converting clients’ money into diamonds, which were then smuggled into the US.
“The comprehensive information provided by the whistleblower was exceptional in both its breadth and depth,” said the IRS in a released statement.
Birkenfeld has been in jail since 2010 after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a related case. His sentence was reduced for good behavior and he was released last month.
“The IRS today sent 104 million messages to whistleblowers around the world—there is now a safe and secure way to report tax fraud and that is the IRS is now paying awards,” said Stephen Kohn, Birkenfeld’s attorney. “The IRS also sent 104 million messages to banks around the world—stop enabling tax cheats or you will get caught.”
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles whistleblower protection attorneys