- Gov. Rick Perry: ‘It’s not a dare, it’s a promise’; Texas will fight BLM
- Howard Dean cheers Obama’s approach to Russian aggression
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s childhood nickname? ‘The Surprise’
- Democrat Grimes backs Keystone XL pipeline in Kentucky Senate race
- China spends for 17 new warships as U.S. cuts back military
- In Japan, Obama plays soccer with a robot and warns students of climate change
- FDA proposes ban on e-cigarette sales to minors
- Wyoming gas plant explosion sends entire town fleeing
- Aborted fetuses from British Columbia incinerated in Oregon plant to make electricity
- Motolotov cocktail thrown a Brooklyn mini-mart
IRS pays $104 million to whistle-blower
The IRS awarded the largest whistle-blower award in history — $104 million — to a former banker who gave information that helped expose a $20 billion offshore banking scheme, the recipient’s attorneys said Tuesday.
“The IRS today sent 104 million messages to whistle-blowers around the world — that there is now a safe and secure way to report tax fraud and that the IRS is now paying awards,” Mr. Birkenfeld’s attorneys said in a statement. “The IRS also sent 104 million messages to banks around the world — stop enabling tax cheats or you will get caught.”
The National Whistleblower Center said the award is the first major one using the IRS whistle-blower law.
Mr. Birkenfeld worked for UBS AG, a giant Swiss bank, and the information he provided led to fines of nearly $800 million. He was awarded such a large amount because of a law giving whistle-blowers up to 30 percent of revenue recovered from their information.
The government did convict Mr. Birkenfeld for his involvement in the scheme. He served time in prison and was released earlier this year.
“The comprehensive information provided by the whistle-blower was exceptional in both its breadth and depth,” the IRS said in a memo backing up the award judgment. “While the IRS was aware of tax compliance issues related to secret bank accounts in Switzerland and elsewhere, the information provided by the whistleblower formed the basis for unprecedented actions against UBS AG.”
The IRS confirmed the payment in a statement. The agency called the whistle-blower law a valuable tool and said the award “reflects our commitment to the law.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican who has been a staunch defender of whistle-blowers, said the award was well worth it for taxpayers.
“An award of $104 million is obviously a great deal of money, but billions of dollars in taxes owed will be collected that otherwise would not have been paid as a result of the whistle-blower information,” he said. “Unfortunately it has taken the IRS nearly four years to settle this whistle-blower case. If the IRS is serious about encouraging future whistle-blowers, it needs to continue to honor the spirit and intent of the law and issue awards in a timely manner.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Stephen Dinan can be reached at email@example.com.
- No comment on petition to deport Bieber
- Red-state Democrats blast latest Keystone delay
- 'Deport Bieber' petition draws no comment from White House
- Obama signs law denying Iran ambassador's visa, but says law is 'advisory'
- Keystone XL pipeline still on hold after State Dept. decision
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
- Obama avoids 'red line' for China, prepared to impose tougher sanctions on Russia
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- In the company of a saint: Catholic Church will canonize Pope John Paul and Pope John XXIII
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- In its hunt for Senate, Republican candidates campaign against Harry Reid
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Washington Redskins' 2014 schedule opens with Texans
- NAPOLITANO: A legal way to kill?
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014