When it comes to the Tea Party, Obama’s IRS probes private citizens beyond the legal limits. But when it comes to Swiss banks engaged in widespread criminal conduct, Eric Holder’s Justice Department turns a blind eye.
Swiss bank Credit Suisse has perpetrated a criminal enterprise on American soil by intentionally fleecing the federal government of billions of dollars in taxes, yet top political leaders at the U.S. Department of Justice refuse to pursue criminal charges against all of the bank officials engaged in the scheme.
Credit Suisse is based in Zurich. It repeatedly sent officers to the United States and engaged employees in the United States to aggressively market schemes to American citizens to avoid the payment of taxes to the IRS.
These marketing pitches were made in the United States to American citizens. Credit Suisse promised anonymous movement of cash away from the reach of the IRS.
The conduct is criminal, yet the Department of Justice refuses to prosecute all of the bank officials committing the crimes.
The Holder Justice Department has even fancied-up its corrupt leniency toward Credit Suisse in a document serving as an attachment to a “Deferred Prosecution Agreement.” The document nicely describes the criminal enterprise of Credit Suisse:
Credit Suisse engaged in this criminal conduct by (a) removing or falsifying references from outgoing United States Dollar payments … (b) advising sanctioned entities how to avoid automated filters at U.S. financial institutions primarily located in New York. … (c) causing U.S. financial institutions to process sanctioned transactions unknowingly.
This deferment of prosecution described in the 2009 document did not foreclose prosecution of the tax criminals working for Credit Suisse. The controversy intensified recently as bipartisan pressure inside Congress has grown, while at the same time political officials inside the Justice Department provide cover for the tax cheats.
Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) chaired a hearing last month which dragged Deputy Attorney General James Cole into the hot seat. Cole didn’t have many answers as to why he had been giving the tax-cheating officers with Credit Suisse a free ride for years. (You can watch the uncomfortable bipartisan grilling of Cole here.) Levin’s subcommittee issued a bipartisan report detailing the extensive criminal tax evasion by Credit Suisse.
Cole detailed a number of small actions around the edges of the problem, but he failed to detail all of the resistance by DOJ officials to prosecute Credit Suisse officials who came onto American soil and shielded billions from the reach of the IRS. Cole admitted in his testimony that none of the small DOJ actions involve the key fourteen Swiss banks most heavily engaged in criminal conduct in the United States.
Levin said that Credit Suisse has illegally shielded up to $12 billion from the IRS.
Fourteen days after Cole was grilled, the Department of Justice announced a single plea deal with a lone Swiss bank official:
In court papers, Bachmann admitted traveling twice a year to the United States as an employee of a Credit Suisse subsidiary to meet with clients who maintained secret Swiss accounts as a means of avoiding U.S. taxes. He would show clients their account statements, and if they asked for a copy he would ask them, “Do you really want to keep the statement?” and suggest that keeping physical records of the account in the U.S. was a risk.
At another point, in a discussion between Bachmann and the CEO of the subsidiary that employed him regarding compliance with U.S. laws, Bachmann says the executive told him, “Mr. Bachmann, you know what we expect of you. Don’t get caught.”
Contrast Cole’s kid gloves when it comes to Swiss bankers with the aggressive treatment of Tea Party groups by Obama’s IRS.
Like so much in the age of Obama, who you are determines how you are treated by the administration far more than what actions you take. This is also a Department of Justice that acts appropriately only after Congress applies pressure.