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A Brazilian businessman allegedly hid US$20 million from US tax authorities

A Brazilian businessman allegedly hid US$20 million from US tax authorities

Bloomberg – A Brazilian businessman living in Florida is accused of using Credit Suisse, UBS and other Swiss banks to hide more than $20 million in assets from U.S. tax authorities over 35 years.

Dan Rota, 77, was arrested on March 9 at Miami International Airport as he prepared to fly to Barcelona, ​​according to people familiar with the matter. He was in Miami federal court on Monday, where a judge ruled that he must remain in jail until his hearing Tuesday morning, according to court officials.

The Justice Department is evaluating whether Credit Suisse violated the 2014 court settlement, in which the bank paid $2.6 billion and admitted to helping thousands of Americans evade taxes. Rota hid IRS assets in dozens of secret bank accounts between 1985 and 2020, according to court documents.

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Over the years, Rota “deliberately sought to hide his assets and income abroad behind aliases and complex corporate structures,” an IRS special agent wrote in an affidavit.

Rota's lawyer declined to comment on the case.

Rota, who lives on Fisher Island, Florida, is charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and making false statements to the IRS. He faces up to five years in prison for each charge if convicted.

A spokesman for UBS, which now owns Credit Suisse, did not respond to a request for comment. In a regulatory filing last month, UBS said: “Credit Suisse has provided information to US authorities about potentially undisclosed US assets held by clients since the 2014 court settlement. Credit Suisse continues to cooperate with authorities.”

a Bloomberg News It was previously reported that US prosecutors are conducting investigations to determine whether former Credit Suisse clients were involved in tax fraud. The report quoted a businessman whose home on Fisher Island was the target of an IRS raid in 2021. The sources said that Rota was the client.

After news emerged in 2008 that UBS was under investigation for helping American taxpayers avoid taxes, Rota closed his account at the bank and transferred the assets to another Swiss bank. Rota, a citizen of the United States, Brazil and Romania, did not identify himself as a US taxpayer.

He was a client of Beda Singenberger, the Swiss financial adviser who over a decade helped 60 people in the United States hide accounts worth US$184 million. Navy Secrets with names like “Real Cool Investmentos” or “Fundação Wanderlust”.

Previous convictions

Ruta has had other problems with the law. In 2012, a judge ordered him to serve 180 days in jail for contempt of court after failing to take his 16-year-old son to a boarding school in Utah during a contested divorce. Instead, Rota took him to Las Vegas to marry his housekeeper's daughter, according to media reports at the time, and achieve legal emancipation.

In the U.S. tax case, Rota used entities including a British Virgin Islands company called Edelwiss Corporate and Putzo Corporation in Liechtenstein, according to the complaint. The IRS began auditing Rota in 2011 after obtaining evidence suggesting he had unreported foreign financial accounts — which he denied having.

Rota claimed that hundreds of thousands of dollars in transfers from foreign accounts were untaxed loans and recruited his cousin from Brazil to take responsibility for the fake loans to the IRS.

After the IRS assessed additional taxes and penalties against Rota, he filed a petition with the U.S. Tax Court and denied having any foreign accounts. The cousin came to the United States “to retell the story of the fake loan to an IRS lawyer.”

In 2019, Rota attempted to file a voluntary application with the IRS to limit his exposure to criminal proceedings and fraudulently limit his exposure to a potential $10 million fine. But his application was filled with false statements, according to the complaint.

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