The high profile federal criminal trial of Raoul Weil began today in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Weil was the chief executive of UBS AG wealth management.
This trial was a long time coming. Weil, a Swiss citizen, was indicted for conspiracy to commit tax evasion in 2008, but he disputed the charges and was declared a fugitive shortly after being charged. In October of 2013 he was arrested while on vacation in Italy, and then extradicted in December of that year.
Weil pleaded not guilty in January this year. He is the first of the UBS bankers to go to jury trial. Others have entered plea agreements or cooperated with the Department of Justice. The investigation was blown wide open by the initial 2007 disclosures of Bradley Birkenfeld, a UBS bank employee who collected a record $104 million dollar reward under the IRS’s whistleblower program. Birkenfeld himself later was charged and pleaded guilty due to his failure to be completely honest with the government about one of his clients. Another of the cooperating UBS bankers, Martin Liechti, is expected to testify against Weil.