April 3, 2015 / 1:52 AM / 2 years ago

Former UBS executive pleads guilty in U.S. tax evasion probe

April 2 (Reuters) - Former UBS AG executive Hansruedi Schumacher pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States by helping wealthy Americans hide their money from tax authorities.

Schumacher, who headed the cross-border business for UBS and also worked for Neue Zuercher Bank (NZB), is a part of the financial industry officials who are being prosecuted for helping Americans evade taxes on UBS and NZB accounts.

At least 25 people, including bankers, lawyers and asset managers, have been charged by U.S. authorities with assisting tax evasion via Swiss banks since 2008.

Schumacher was the regional market manager for UBS' North American International business from the 1990s through mid-2002. He later worked for NZB from 2002 to 2009.

Raoul Weil, who headed wealth management at Zurich-based UBS, was acquitted in November last year for helping thousands of U.S. taxpayers hide up to $20 billion in assets in offshore accounts.

Schumacher had testified in October last year that Weil was part of a committee to handle an Internal Revenue Service program that identified U.S. securities holders worldwide.

Schumacher later admitted in November that Weil had nothing to do with a plan to distort legal advice against promoting certain offshore structures to American clients.

The case is U.S. v. Schumacher, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (Fort Lauderdale), No. 09-60210 (Reporting by Anjali Rao Koppala in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Wills)

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