Back in May 2014, Credit Suisse admitted to being a Swiss bank, by which we mean it admitted to having helped Americans and others evade taxes since time immemorial. This came along with the usual professions of high-level ignorance, obsequious prostrations before Congress, a $2.5 billion fine, an annoyingly eager monitor and a promise to never, ever do it again. Something seems to have been lost in the translation, because Credit Suisse allegedly just shifted its “Swiss banking” business to Israel, where it allegedly gleefully continued as if nothing had changed and allegedly ignored whether any of the Israeli clients it was helping may also have been carrying American passports.
The U.S. Justice Department in July 2014 discovered that American professor Dan Horsky was potentially hiding money overseas in his Credit Suisse accounts managed by the bank’s Israel desk, according to a person familiar with the matter….
Investigators are determining if other clients with dual Israeli citizenship also got help in concealing American tax obligations by using their Israeli or other personal documents, people familiar with the matter said.
Big deal, right? Credit Suisse is saving a lot of money on salaries this days, and writing out big settlement checks is just part of the cost of being in the banking business these days. Unfortunately for Credit Suisse, there was another element of its 2014 settlement.
In addition to having to pay billions, the Justice Department demanded the bank plead guilty, a rare concession by a financial institution that DOJ officials said would prove consequential if the bank was ever caught engaging in misconduct again.