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Businessman admits he hid $2M in Swiss bank account, ducking taxes

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

He socked away $2 million in a Swiss bank account and figured no one would notice, least of all the IRS. Wrong.


Leonid Zatlsberg admitted in federal court Thursday that he lied on his tax return when he didn’t report the little egg that nested overseas.

U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler ordered him released on $750,000 bond pending sentencing on Nov. 17.

According to court documents filed in the case and statements made during today’s guilty plea:

Zaltsberg admitted that he signed and filed a false tax return for 2003 that failed to disclose his UBS account and income generated from the account’s assets.

Zaltsberg also failed to file a Report of Foreign Bank or Financial Accounts (FBAR) with respect to the UBS account.

The account, originally opened in 1993, was transferred into the name of Belton Capital Corp., a nominee Panamanian corporation, in 2000. Zaltsberg established Belton in late 2000 with the assistance of a foreign lawyer and a Swiss banker, in order to hide this account from the IRS, authorities said.

United States citizens who have an interest in, or signature or other authority over, a financial account in a foreign country with assets in excess of $10,000 are required to disclose the existence of such account on Schedule B, Part III of their individual income tax return.

Additionally, U.S. citizens must file an FBAR with the United States Treasury disclosing any financial account in a foreign country with assets in excess of $10,000 in which they have a financial interest, or over which they have signature or other authority.

Zaltsberg admitted that his failure to file the FBAR and his failure to disclose the existence of the UBS account on his personal income tax returns allowed him to under-report
personal income for the years 2000 through 2006.

In 2002, the account reached a high balance of
More than $2.6 million.

A few months ago, another New Jersey resident and UBS client, Harry Abrahamsen, of Oradell, pleaded guilty to failing to file an FBAR.

In September 2009, UBS client Juergen Homann of Saddle River, New Jersey, also pleaded guilty to failing to file an FBAR.

In February 2009, UBS entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the government to help identify such miscreants. In turn, the government agreed to not bring charges against the bank unless it say sufficient reason to.
Zaltsberg is looking at up to three years in prison and a
maximum fine of $250,000,.

Plus, Zaltsberg has agreed to pay a 50 percent civil FBAR penalty for the calendarb year, from 2000 through 2007, with the highest balance in the UBS account.

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman commended the IRS. Assistant U.S. Attorney’s Stacey A. Levine and Trial Attorney Michael C. Vasiliadis of the Department of Justice’s Tax Division handled the case.

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