Swiss bank co-operates with US as 2 ex-bankers plead guilty

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Swiss bank Julius Baer has agreed in New York to co-operate for three years with American authorities to shut down accounts that enabled wealthy Americans to evade taxes.

Lawyers for the bank appeared in Manhattan federal court Thursday to confirm the non-prosecution deal. The agreement calls for the bank to share documents and provide witnesses at any U.S. court proceedings until February 2019.

Julius Baer will pay $547 million in penalties and restitution and close any U.S. accounts established to evade taxes. In return, U.S. authorities will defer a conspiracy charge against the bank.

Also, two ex-Julius Baer bankers pleaded guilty Thursday to criminal charges and agreed to co-operate. They admitted helping U.S. taxpayers hide their money at the bank to evade reporting income and assets to the Internal Revenue Service.