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Whistle-blower’s Swiss bank-account secrets worth $104 million, says IRS

Anyone not reporting income hidden in Swiss bank accounts has a new reason to be nervous: The IRS has awarded a whistle-blower $104 million for his help in exposing secrets of the Swiss banking system, as reported in The New York Times.

Bradley C Birkenfeld’s information led to Swiss bank UBS paying $780 million to the U.S. government, admitting it conspired to defraud the IRS, and revealing information on more than 4,500 American clients with Swiss accounts You can learn more about the case and about Birkenfeld, including how he once smuggled diamonds in his…toothpaste (bet you didn’t see that coming) by checking out this 60 Minutes story.

Birkenfeld wound up spending more than 2 1/2 years in prison for withholding information from the IRS about the man who was his top client. For those of you who think this way, that means he “earned” more than $100,000 for each day he spent in prison.

The reward is fully taxable income. Of course.

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