International Law

Swiss bank exec faces US extradition in $20B tax case, due to vacation in Italy

After he was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2008 in a $20 billion U.S. tax fraud conspiracy case, Swiss banking executive Raoul Weil declined to be extradited and his legal counsel said he had done nothing wrong.

That put the criminal case against him on hold, since Switzerland requires the defendant’s consent for extradition. Weil was declared a fugitive from justice in the Southern District of Florida case in 2009, but Swiss banking authorities cleared him of wrongdoing. Although he lost his job as head of global wealth management services at UBS AG due to the tax conspiracy case, he wound up in a high-level position as an asset manager at another Swiss financial institution, according to the Associated Press, the Financial Times (sub. req.) and the Money Beat blog of the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.).

Now a vacation to Italy has put the 53-year-old back on the hot seat. Italy generally cooperates with U.S. extradition requests, except in death-penalty cases, and law enforcement there routinely reviews hotel-guest registrations. Weil was arrested in Bologna over the weekend and jailed, after he checked in at a local hotel and police determined that his name was on a list of those wanted under international warrants.

On Tuesday, a handcuffed and unshaven Weil, accompanied by Italian counsel and his wife, was taken to the Court of Appeal in Bologna. A judge ruled that he must remain in custody while the extradition battle plays out, reports Reuters, which relies on unidentified sources for information about the court decision and expected court procedure.

The U.S. now has 40 days to submit a formal request to the judiciary to extradite Weil. Assuming that occurs, the Court of Appeal will hold a hearing to determine whether Weil should be sent to the U.S. for trial in the tax fraud conspiracy case.

See also: (2008): “UBS Exec Charged in Federal Tax Fraud Conspiracy Case”

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