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UBS Pays $780M for Aiding Tax Cheats: Where’s Phil Gramm?

Somewhere this morning, tax cheat bazillionaires are clenching:

The Justice Department charged that over several years UBS provided Swiss bank accounts to approximately 20,000 U.S. clients with assets of about $20 billion. About 17,000 of those clients concealed their identities and the existence of their UBS accounts from the IRS, the Justice Department alleged…. 

A Justice Department news release stated that, to avoid being tried on criminal charges, UBS agreed to stop letting U.S. clients use Swiss accounts to hide money from the IRS. However, the commitment wasn’t new: The Swiss bank promised to do just that last year.

All you tax cheats who signed on for a UBS account last year hoping to stash yer remaining cash or illicit TARP-financed bonus award payola in a secret Swiss bank account?

Surprise!

And UBS wasn’t just pulling this stunt in the US of A. Oh no siree. They were also doing it in Canada, dispatching a crack squad of tax cheat helpers from here to there. For years.

Riddle me this, kiddies: Phoreclosure Phil Gramm, erstwhile McCain economic advisor and Republican "deregulation rocks!" guru was running about positing all sorts of nifty ideas throughout the last presidential campaign.

At the same time, Gramm was a board member and lobbyist for UBS, which knew it was under investigation by the DOJ.

In fact, they reached an agreement with the DOJ just last year — during McCain’s campaign — to disclose names of tax cheats. 

Did McCain know?

It’s bad enough that Phoreclosure Phil’s economic theories suck rocks, and that his propensity to dispense favors for all manner of moneyed interests in the form of whatever deregulation they needed to run a scam on the public keeps popping up. (See, e.g., Enron. For starters.)

Just how much did Phil Gramm know about the years of ongoing UBS tax cheat scheme? Because I can’t seem to find anyone who has bothered to ask him outright, even though Gramm was one of the main architects of any number of UBS’ big deals (which have since tanked) the last few years.

Isn’t it time someone asked Gramm publicly what he knew and when? 

And while we’re at it, shouldn’t someone ask Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson what she thinks of Gramm’s association with all of this, since he’s her honorary campaign co-chair at the moment? Smarmy is as smarmy does, KayBee.

(YouTube:  Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch.  No particular reason, why do you ask?)

Christy Hardin SmithCommunity

UBS Pays $780M For Aiding Tax Cheats: Where’s Phil Gramm?

Somewhere this morning, tax cheat bazillionaires are clenching:

The Justice Department charged that over several years UBS provided Swiss bank accounts to approximately 20,000 U.S. clients with assets of about $20 billion. About 17,000 of those clients concealed their identities and the existence of their UBS accounts from the IRS, the Justice Department alleged…. 

A Justice Department news release stated that, to avoid being tried on criminal charges, UBS agreed to stop letting U.S. clients use Swiss accounts to hide money from the IRS. However, the commitment wasn’t new: The Swiss bank promised to do just that last year.

All you tax cheats who signed on for a UBS account last year hoping to stash yer remaining cash or illicit TARP-financed bonus award payola in a secret Swiss bank account?

Surprise!

And UBS wasn’t just pulling this stunt in the US of A. Oh no siree. They were also doing it in Canada, dispatching a crack squad of tax cheat helpers from here to there. For years.

Riddle me this, kiddies: Phoreclosure Phil Gramm, erstwhile McCain economic advisor and Republican "deregulation rocks!" guru was running about positing all sorts of nifty ideas throughout the last presidential campaign.

At the same time, Gramm was a board member and lobbyist for UBS, which knew it was under investigation by the DOJ.

In fact, they reached an agreement with the DOJ just last year — during McCain’s campaign — to disclose names of tax cheats. 

Did McCain know?

It’s bad enough that Phoreclosure Phil’s economic theories suck rocks, and that his propensity to dispense favors for all manner of moneyed interests in the form of whatever deregulation they needed to run a scam on the public keeps popping up. (See, e.g., Enron. For starters.)

Just how much did Phil Gramm know about the years of ongoing UBS tax cheat scheme? Because I can’t seem to find anyone who has bothered to ask him outright, even though Gramm was one of the main architects of any number of UBS’ big deals (which have since tanked) the last few years.

Isn’t it time someone asked Gramm publicly what he knew and when? 

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com