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Former UBS Banker Receives $104 Million Whistleblower Award

Bradley Birkenfeld, a former banker and employee of UBS, received a monetary award in the amount of $104 million from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) for revealing information relating to UBS’s practice of advising and assisting its clients on how to shield their assets from the IRS – a clear violation of the Internal Revenue Code. Birkenfeld’s disclosure to the IRS ultimately led to a $780 million settlement between UBS and the federal government, as well as the enrollment of more than 35,000 American taxpayers in IRS amnesty programs, which will allow the repatriation of their offshore accounts. The IRS has stated that it expects to recover an estimated $5 billion as a result of Birkenfeld’s disclosure. According to a website maintained by the IRS’s Whistleblower Office, which was established as a result of the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010, monetary awards will be provided to whistleblowers that provide specific and credible information about violations of the Internal Revenue Code. Anti-retaliation protections are also afforded to those who choose to disclaim such information. In a statement confirming the award, the IRS emphasized the importance of the whistleblower statue and acknowledged it as a “valuable tool to combat tax non-compliance.” At Lax & Neville LLP, we represent individuals, securities industry employees and securities industry companies seeking representation in employment matters and securities-related and commercial litigation. Please contact our team of attorneys for a consultation at (212) 696-1999.