The United States hit Credit Suisse with criminal charges Monday for helping rich Americans evade taxes, ahead of an expected guilty plea and $2.6 billion fine by the giant Swiss bank.
Charges filed in the federal district court in Alexandria, Virginia said Credit Suisse "did unlawfully, voluntarily, intentionally, and knowingly conspire" to help US citizens prepare and file false income tax returns.
The US Justice Department said the Swiss bank helped people hide incomes in sham nominee accounts, destroyed account records, and hand-delivered money from the accounts to help clients avoid taxes.
The charges were filed ahead of the expected announcement of a plea deal between the bank and the Justice Department, in which the bank will admit to helping two clients as part of a long program of offering offshore nominee account services to many Americans to help them avoid taxes.
According to Dow Jones Newswires, the bank will also agree to pay $2.6 billion in fines, including $1.7 billion to the Justice Department, more than $700 million to the New York State banking regulator, and $100 million to the Federal Reserve.