Miami, Florida, USA (GenevaLunch) – UBS manager turned informer Bradley Birkenfeld will go to prison 8 January after a judge turned down his appeal for clemency Monday 4 January. US District Judge William Zloch also refused to consider further appeals, reports Swissinfo, in a feature on the impact of Birkenfeld’s case and that of a French former HSBC employee. Both have given their governments information on clients held by banks based in Switzerland, a crime under Swiss law.
Birkenfeld has argued that he should not be sent to prison because he brought the IRS, US tax authority, information on some 19,000 clients. But prosecutors have argued that “he failed to disclose his own crimes”, says Swissinfo.
His request to receive whistleblower awards that could amount to several million dollars is under consideration by the IRS Whistleblower Program. The National Whistleblowers Center’s attorneys have been representing Birkenfeld. They issued a statement 30 December calling on all Americans to write to the attorney general to stop Birkenfeld going to jail, saying it will send the wrong message.