Thursday, June 24, 2010

Obama: Another (in a Pile of ) Request(s)

Dave Voreacos of Bloomberg informs us that 45-year old Bradley Birkenfeld believes he is a "hero" that  "deserves" a reward  "for exposing a massive tax-evasion scandal at UBS, the biggest Swiss bank." More specifically, he wants President Obama to commute his 40-month prison term. Other than the fact that (1) commutations of sentence have been freakishly rare for several decades (2) President Obama has yet to grant a single pardon or commutation of sentence and (3) Obama is among the slowest presidents in history to discover clemency powers ... Birkenfeld has some things going for him.

Voreacos notes his disclosures (spread over three days) "preceded UBS’s decision to pay $780 million to avoid prosecution, admit it fostered tax evasion from 2000 to 2007, and turn over data on 250 secret accounts to the IRS." A prosecutor, however, says Birkenfeld initially withheld information regarding his own involvement in the frauds and wasn't very useful as a witness. See full story here.

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