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Press watch: IRS awards whistleblower $140m

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‘The Internal Revenue Service has awarded a former UBS banker $104m for revealing a tax evasion scheme that cost the US government billions of dollars in taxes and resulted in criminal charges against Swiss banks and top executives.

‘Bradley Birkenfeld, a former banker who called himself “Tarantula”, reported allegations of tax evasion at UBS to US authorities in 2007. His reward is believed to be the largest ever bestowed on a whistleblower. Mr Birkenfeld is widely credited with uncovering the scheme, which led to UBS pleading guilty to criminal charges and paying $780m to settle with the Department of Justice. As a result of the investigation, the US government has collected $5bn in back-taxes.’

Financial Times, 11 September 2012