Federal Tax Crimes: CFC Grants Summary Judgment Based on Bank Account Record Ownership Even Though Others May Have Been Beneficial Owners (April 20, 2021)

Jack Townsend, in his Federal Tax Crimes Blog, discusses the case: Landa v. United States.

In Landa v. United States, 2021 U.S. Claims LEXIS 635 (Fed. Cl. Apr. 19, 2021), here, the Court entered summary judgment for the Government on the FBAR civil willful penalty.  The facts are not good for the plaintiff, Leon Landa, hence the summary judgment.  

The funds in issue came from his grandfather, who a citizen and resident of Ukraine who deposited funds in a Swiss bank in WW II before moving first to Israel and then the U.S.  The grandfather “apparently intended [the] money “for the family” to be preserved and used for emergencies ‘in case another situation like World War II . . . happen[ed].’”  Over time, at the various Swiss banks involved at for the year involved in the FBAR penalty [UBS, Credit Suisse and BSI], the record ownership of the accounts appeared solely in the name of Leon Landa, the plaintiff in the case and person who drew the FBAR civil willful penalty.  At some times, other family members were listed as having power of attorney at a couple of the banks.  But, at the key relevant times, Leon Landa only appeared as record owner of the accounts.  Regarding the UBS account, the Court found (p. 5) that in 2009 (as we all know) UBS under pressure closed accounts for U.S. taxpayers and a UBS represented “advised [Leon Landa] to open an account at a bank that “doesn’t do any operation in the United States.” Regarding a key account, the BSI account opened in 2009 apparently in response to the UBS advice, the Court found (p.5 & 6, cleaned up and footnote omitted).

To see the full article, click: CFC Grants Summary Judgment Based on Bank Account Record Ownership Even Though Others May Have Been Beneficial Owners

To download the full opinion, click Landa v. United States

Posted by David Brito, Associate Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal.

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