Former UBS client pleads guilty to concealing money in offshore account

5 July 2010

An ex-client of UBS has pleaded guilty to hiding $2.6 million from the US tax authorities in an offshore account.

Leonid Zaltsberg, who had previously played football for the Soviet Union’s national football team, admitted that he filed a false tax return in 2003.

He also said that he failed to report the transfer of funds to a Panamanian account, which he set up in 2000 with the help of an unnamed Swiss banker and a lawyer from outside of the US.

James DiPietro, a lawyer for Mr Zaltsberg, told Reuters: “He is sincerely remorseful, and knows that he made a terrible mistake.

“I'll be making every effort humanly possible to get him a sentence without prison time.”

The 76 year-old defendant agreed to pay a total penalty of $1.3 million and could also face a three-year jail sentence as a result of not disclosing details of the account.

In 2009, UBS admitted to helping clients avoid paying tax between 2000 and 2007.

The financial services provider subsequently agreed to pay a $780 million penalty and to hand over details of a number of accounts to the tax authorities.

By Jim Ottewill

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