Swiss Bank Agrees To Settle Charges

Switzerland's largest bank has struck a deal in U.S. federal court after admitting to helping defraud the IRS. UBS has agreed to pay $780 million in fines and penalties to settle allegations it conspired to cheat the government out of taxes owed by big clients. The bank also agreed to immediately turn over information on the Swiss accounts of its U.S. customers.

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ARI SHAPIRO, host:

NPR's business news starts with a deal that could reveal some Swiss banking secrets.

The Swiss bank UBS has struck a deal in a Florida federal court to settle a tax probe from the US government. UBS will pay $780 million. And here's the juicy part: They'll disclose the names of Americans who hold secret accounts with the bank. It's part of a deal to resolve criminal fraud charges against Switzerland's largest bank. The US Justice Department says UBS helped 17,000 wealthy Americans evade taxes by concealing their accounts, with a total of around $20 billion in assets.

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