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Report faults US, bank on tax evasion

WASHINGTON — Billions of dollars in US taxes are going unpaid because Americans are exploiting Swiss bank accounts and the US government has failed to aggressively pursue Switzerland’s second-largest bank, a Senate investigation has found.

The bank, Credit Suisse, has provided accounts in Switzerland for more than 22,000 US clients totaling $10 billion to $12 billion, according to a report issued Tuesday by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The US government has received only 238 names of citizens with secret accounts at Credit Suisse, or just 1 percent of the estimated total, the investigation concluded.

Credit Suisse recruited US clients to open Swiss accounts from 2001 through 2008, helped them conceal the accounts from the Internal Revenue Service, and enabled misconduct by bank employees, the subcommittee asserted.

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For five years, the Senate panel has been examining Swiss banks’ use of secrecy laws to enable tax evasion by Americans.

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Credit Suisse had no immediate comment on the report.

Associated Press