The Swiss banking system, and Swiss bankers in particular, were portrayed in the 2013 Oscar-nominated Scorsese movie The Wolf of Wall Street as outright corrupt. Though the movie, its events, and its characters are based on real-life events, Jean Dujardin's Swiss banker in the movie (based on real-life banker Jean-Jacques Handali) matches the long-held Hollywood stereotype of a Swiss banker. Now, however, a more recent court case has shown that the caricature of such bankers portrayed in the movie might not be far from the truth.
Swiss banker Andreas Bachmann today pleaded guilty in a U.S. District Court to defrauding the IRS. As part of his plea deal Bachmann now faces up to five years in prison. His sentencing has been scheduled for August 8, 2014.
Bachmann worked as a banking and investment advisor for a Credit Suisse subsidiary in Switzerland between 1994 and 2006. During those years he served U.S. clients and advised them on how to evade IRS income taxes by sheltering income in secret Swiss bank accounts. Bachmann has also admitted that the highest ranking executive at his bank subsidiary was well aware of his illegal U.S. investor advice.
“Today’s plea is just the latest step in our wide-ranging investigations into Swiss banking activities and demonstrates the Department of Justice's commitment to global enforcement against those that facilitate offshore tax evasion,” said Deputy Attorney General James Cole. “We fully expect additional developments over the course of the coming months.”
In addition to his illegal advice, Bachmann occasionally traveled to the U.S. where he would fulfill withdrawals or deposits for secret bank accounts. To accomplish this, Bachmann would take ferry cash from some clients and to others across the U.S.