UBS

Raoul Weil, the former head of UBS AG’s global wealth management business accused of conspiring to help Americans evade taxes, was ordered to post bail of $10.5 million before trial, according to a court filing. Weil, 54, appeared today in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for the first time since he was indicted in October 2008 and declared a fugitive. U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick Hunt said Weil must post a $9 million personal surety bond with a cash deposit of $4 million, as well as a $1 million corporate surety bond and a $500,000 personal surety bond, according to minutes of the hearing. Weil’s lawyer has said he is innocent. He is the highest-ranking banker among about 100 people charged since 2008 by the U.S. in a crackdown on offshore tax evasion. About three dozen foreign bankers, lawyers and advisers were charged. Tax lawyers not involved in the case said they expect Weil to plead guilty, cooperate with prosecutors, and seek leniency at sentencing. “There’s a good chance he’ll be ready to cooperate, and he’ll be throwing his people under the bus,” said attorney Edward Robbins of Hochman, Salkin, Rettig, Toscher & Perez in Beverly Hills, California. “He knows where all the dead bodies are. To the extent that the government missed any, he can tell them where they are.” [Bloomberg]

Time was, all a bank employee wanting to manipulate forex rates had to do was sit down at his desk, send a message to a fellow bank employee possessing equally loose morals (and a taste for being called “big boy“) and before you could say “let’s pop this bottle of Bollinger,” the job was done. Which is why UBS has decided to cut its people off at the source. It hasn’t figured out a way to eradicate Libor and other types of rate manipulation entirely, but it has figured out a way to make it slightly more difficult for people who don’t know how to use a phone. As an added bonus, it’ll be giving managing directors the extra responsibility of acting as chat room hall monitors, muttering “this is why we can’t have nice things” while handing out passes, hitting AIM-style warn buttons, and occassionally peeking under men’s room stalls for rogue chatters while doing actual work. Read more »

A platoon of protestors objecting to UBS’s support for mining operations in Appalachia have descended on the financial giant’s Stamford-based headquarters and unfurled a banner from a downtown construction crane. Following a morning of securing a large construction crane at a 15-story building going up on lower Summer Street, protestors with the group Hands off Appalachia and Capitalism vs. the Climate intruded into the UBS’s Washington Boulevard headquarters and some chained themselves to the outside of the building…The protestors associated with the group Hands off Appalachia and Capitalism vs. the Climate climbed the crane before work began Monday morning on the site of a 15-story building now under construction next to the Majestic Theater on Summer Street. Three people went out on a boom and two began hanging about 200 feet off the ground and unfurled a 40 foot by 60 foot banner protesting UBS’s support of a company involved with the blasting away of tops of mountains for minerals. The activists pulled the banner back in at about 11:30 a.m. after about 2 hours of allowing it to fly directly within view of UBS’s North American headquarters on Washington Boulevard…At about 11 a.m. police found two other people that they believe were associated with the protest that had walkie-talkies, repelling gear and cameras watching from the Bell Street Garage. Fontneau said those two have also been taken into custody. On their web site, Hands Off Appalachia is claiming responsibility for the banner and are displaying pictures on their website. On the website the group says, “To executives at UBS, the devastation of strip-mining might just be another set of numbers on one more piece of paper. To the people of Appalachia, it is a matter of life and death. Today, we are headed once again to Stamford to tell UBS that no one is collateral damage to their profits. Hands Off Appalachia will not rest until UBS stops enabling the destruction of Appalachia and its people and severs their relationship with coal companies that engage in mountaintop removal.” [Stamford Advocate]

Convicted insider trader John Joseph Hartman and his brother planned to “make a lot of money” by bribing high-profile jockey Danny Nikolic to rig horse races, a court has heard. On his second day of evidence in the committal hearing against his former best friend Oliver Curtis, John Hartman admitted under cross-examination that his brother, UBS banker Edward Hartman, had concocted the plan to make tens of thousands of dollars in 2008. Edward Hartman wrote in an email to John on August 29, 2008, saying the deal could “only be between you and me okay?” before telling him to set up a BetFair account in someone else’s name. “I have a very high profile jockey that will have some very short priced losers for us to lay,” Edward wrote. “But no one else can know other than us, that’s very important.” He was found guilty and fined over two lesser offences, and is banned from racing for two years for threatening a steward during an appeal hearing against a previous ban. John Hartman agreed during cross-examination that he had been part of the email exchange but said that the bribe had never taken place, adding that horses were animals so the outcome was not guaranteed. [SMH]

  • 01 Nov 2013 at 5:16 PM

Suspension Watch ’13: Barclays, UBS

A whole bunch of currency traders have been asked to take 5. Read more »

  • 20 Sep 2013 at 2:51 PM

UBS Whistleblower (Allegedly!) Likes His Drink

Remember Bradley Birkenfeld? Former UBS employee who scored himself a $104 million bonus from the IRS for single-handedly making the government’s case against UBS re: tax cheats, which resulted in the US scoring $780 million from the Swiss bank and in turn nearly $5 billion when you count the additional Americans who were inspired to “voluntarily disclose offshore accounts”? But not before he was sentenced to 40 months at Schuylkill Federal Correctional Institution, 32 of which he did before getting the rest lobbed off for good behavior? He’s been celebrating for the past year, and recently celebrating a little too much. Read more »

In the heat of the moment, though, the only appropriate thing to do seemed to be to walk back to the club and punch the guy in the side of the head. In retrospect, he understands how that was probably a slightly disproportionate response. Read more »