Remember Bradley Birkenfeld? He’s the guy who single-handedly made the government’s case against UBS and forced the Swiss bank to hand over the names of thousands of tax cheats, which resulted in the US scoring $780 million from UBS and may have inspired some 33,000 Americans to “voluntarily disclose offshore accounts to the IRS, generating more than $5 billion.” And yet, despite his assistance, Birkenfeld wasn’t immediately thanked for a job well done. Instead, he was sentenced to forty months in prison (fair-ish, considering he showed a few clients how to avoid paying taxes himself) and told to piss off by the Internal Revenue Service, from whom he sought an award, because he was “not forthcoming about his own role in the scheme,” even as a Justice Department attorney admitted that “…without Mr. Birkenfeld walking into the door of the Department of Justice in the summer of 2007, I doubt as of today that this massive fraud would have been discovered by the US government” (or as his lawyer put it, “They didn’t know how to spell UBS until he showed up. He didn’t just give them a piece of the puzzle. He gave them the entire puzzle”). Now, after doing 32 months at Schuylkill Federal Correctional Institution, getting let out early on account of “good-time credit,” and living in a halfway house in New Hampshire, Birkenfeld has finally been thrown a bone. Read more »
- 11 Sep 2012 at 11:46 AM
- 23 May 2013 at 12:00 PM
This is a guest post written by SoFi’s CEO, Mike Cagney.
Recently, there’s been a lot of talk amongst leaders in Washington about how to improve the painful process of repaying student loans. At SoFi, we feel your pain and work hard to offer more flexible, more affordable options for our borrowers. One idea that’s getting a lot of attention is increasing the options for refinancing debt after graduation. The only lender currently focused on refinancing private and federal student loans is SoFi.
We recognized early on that borrowers who have made timely payments on their loans, graduated from school, and have a job should be able to refinance their student loans at a lower interest rate. This may be why, after resuming lending by invitation, the media became increasingly interested in what we are doing.
- 22 May 2013 at 7:00 PM
You know what they say: You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your financial planner. Or something like that. One of the great things of being in charge of your money is choosing who (if anyone) will help you manage it. The choice isn’t always an easy one. How will you know that your planner is reputable and trustworthy?
These five red flags may be good indications of whether the financial planner sitting across from you is someone you should trust with your money. LearnVest Planning also provides an innovative 7-step program for your money where you work one-on-one with a financial planner. To see if this program is right for you, start with a free financial consultation.
1. She Isn’t Certified
“There are a lot of good planners out there who aren’t Certified Financial Panners™,” says Samantha Vient, CFP®, of LearnVest Planning Services. “However, CFPs® are required to adhere to the CFP® Board’s standards of professional conduct.
We believe it’s always a good idea to work with someone who has the CFP® designation, which is issued after completing a CFP® Board-approved personal financial planning curriculum, passing a rigorous exam issued by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, meeting experience requirements and passing an ethics and background check.
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