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US government pays jailed whistleblower $104 million for info on tax dodgers

By on September 11, 2012

Jailed ex-banker, Bradley Birkenfeld has something to smile about

The Internal Revenue Service awarded tax whistleblower and former UBS  banker Bradley Birkenfeld $104 million for providing the agency with insider information in UBS’s illegal encouragement of secret offshore accounts by U.S. taxpayers.

Mr. Birkenfeld’s lawyers said it is believed to be the largest reward ever given to an individual whistleblower in the U.S. The Internal Revenue Service issued a statement confirming the award had recently been made, because Mr. Birkenfeld signed a disclosure waiver, but didn’t comment on whether it is the largest whistleblower award.

Mr. Birkenfeld told U.S. investigators about illicit practices allegedly encouraged by UBS. In 2009, the Swiss bank paid $780 million to resolve a pending criminal case and agreed to turn over information about more than 4,000 secret account holders who were U.S. taxpayers, lifting the veil on Swiss bank secrecy.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal