Sunday, January 16, 2011

Wikileakds next bombshell... Swiss banking records?

LONDON — A Swiss banker whose actions caused a U.S. judge to briefly shut down WikiLeaks three years ago has promised to hand over a trove of banking secrets to the secret-spilling organization on Monday, a U.K. newspaper reported.

Releasing the bank details of 2,000 "high net worth individuals" and companies could reveal huge potential tax evasion, The Observer reported on Sunday.

Both American and British firms and individuals, including about "40 politicians," will be implicated, Rudolf Elmer, a former employee of Swiss-based Bank Julius Baer, told the newspaper.

Elmer, who pledged to give the information to WikiLeaks at a journalists' club in London on Monday, has been ordered to appear before a Zurich regional court Jan. 19 to answer charges of coercion and violating Switzerland's strict banking secrecy laws. If convicted he could be sentenced to up to three years in prison and a fine.

The list of individuals and companies includes multinational conglomerates and hedge funds that are "using secrecy as a screen to hide behind in order to avoided paying tax," Elmer told the Observer.
Read the rest here.

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