Just last week the Justice Department announced that three more banks reached resolutions under the Swiss Bank Program. All three banks entered Non Prosecution Agreements (NPA’s) with the Department of Justice. The financial settlements ranged from over 3 million to 59 million, and totaled approximately 81 million in penalties recovered by the US Government. Joan Meyer of Baker McKenzie represented Bank CIC, which entered into an agreement to pay over 3 million dollars in penalties. Joan is the chair of Baker & McKenzie’s North America Compliance and Investigations Practice Group, and she handles investigations and white-collar matters.
A more detailed account of the Swiss Bank Program is described here. Under the program, banks meeting the following requirements are eligible for a non-prosecution agreement (NPA):
- Make a complete disclosure of their cross-border activities;
- Provide detailed information on an account-by-account basis for accounts in which U.S. taxpayers have direct or indirect interest;
- Cooperate in treaty requests for account information;
- Provide detailed information as to other banks that transferred funds into secret accounts or that accepted funds when secret accounts were closed;
- Agree to close accounts of account holders who fail to come into compliance with U.S. reporting obligations; and
- Pay appropriate penalties.
If you read the particulars of the cooperation in the press release and the NPA’s here, you will see that, as a component of that cooperation, the banks also provided information on individuals — an extra step that was not strictly required. Is this the Yates Memo in action? I am not the only one who is asking those kind of questions, as they are also asked in an interview conducted with the law professor who wrote “Too Big to Jail.”
It is certainly food for thought. But most importantly I wanted to congratulate Joan on a job well done for her client.