DOJ accuses Israel's largest bank of helping hide assets

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced the filing of criminal charges against the largest bank in Israel for attempting to hide assets for United States taxpayers looking to avoid their tax obligations. According to the DOJ, the bank actively hid assets for United States taxpayers from 2002 through 2014. These actions included opening accounts under pseudonyms and filing false federal tax returns.

Did the bank conspire to help others commit tax fraud?

According to the DOJ, yes, the bank actively worked to hide these assets. Upon facing the evidence, the bank sent a representative to enter a guilty plea.

What does it mean when a bank admits to tax crimes?

First, the bank will be held accountable. It has agreed to pay restitution of over $874 million to United States tax authorities as well as a $100,811,585 penalty fee. The bank has also agreed to fully cooperate with the United States government with all investigations into hidden bank accounts. This will likely mean the bank will provide names of U.S. taxpayers who are using pseudonym ownership to hide assets and avoid tax obligation.

What does this mean for those who have foreign accounts?

The case serves as a reminder that the United States government takes tax compliance very seriously. A failure to report assets can come in serious consequences. Depending on the details of the allegations, this can include criminal prosecution. As a result, those who have foreign assets are wise to act to better ensure compliance and reduce the risk of allegations of wrongdoing

Israel's Largest Bank, Bank Hapoalim, Admits to Conspiring with U.S. Taxpayers to Hide Assets and Income in Offshore Accounts

U.S. Dep. Of Just, DOJ 20-412, Israel's Largest Bank, Bank Hapoalim, Admits to Conspiring with U.S. Taxpayers to Hide Assets and Income in Offshore Accounts(2020).

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