Former Swiss finance executive pleads guilty to tax evasion scheme that hid $60 million

BankingJan 3, 2024

A former Swiss finance executive pled guilty in New York federal court on Thursday to conspiring to defraud the U.S. in a tax evasion scheme known as the “Singapore Solution” that hid $60 million in income and assets held by wealthy Americans, prosecutors said.

Rolf Schnellmann, 61, former head of Zurich-based Allied Finance Trust AG, helped defraud the Internal Revenue Service by stashing money of U.S. taxpayer clients in undeclared accounts at a private Swiss bank, Privatbank IHAG Zurich AG, between 2008 and 2014, according to the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In the “Singapore Solution,” Schnellmann and colleagues conspired to transfer more than $60 million from the undeclared accounts across several countries and Hong Kong, and back to the private bank in newly opened accounts under a Singapore-based asset management firm established by a co-conspirator.

Schnellmann and the co-conspirators were paid large fees to assist the tax evasion scheme, prosecutors said.

He was arrested in August in Italy, and extradited to the U.S.

Schnellmann faces a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison when he is sentenced on July 19.

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