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Credit Suisse Pleads Guilty in Three-Year U.S. Tax Probe

May 20 2014, 11:59

Credit Suisse AG (CSGN) agreed to pay $2.6 billion in penalties and pleaded guilty to helping Americans cheat on their taxes, making it the first global bank in a decade to admit to a crime in a U.S. courtroom, bloomberg.com reports.

The plea also signals a tougher posture by the Justice Department, which has faced criticism that it avoided pursuing large banks after the 2008 financial crisis because of the potential economic fallout. The firm said the deal will cut second-quarter earnings by 1.6 billion francs ($1.79 billion).

“This case shows that no financial institution, no matter its size or global reach, is above the law,” Attorney General Eric Holder said during a press conference. He said “a company’s profitability or market share can never and will never be used as a shield from prosecution or penalty. And this action should put that misguided notion definitively to rest.”

The bank will pay $1.8 billion to the U.S., which includes almost $670 million in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. The penalty also involves a $715 million payment to New York’s Department of Financial Services and $100 million to the Federal Reserve. The state banking regulator also called for the termination of certain employees and an independent monitor, the person said.

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