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Butterfield to pay $5.6m in tax evasion case

Michael Collins, CEO of Butterfield Bank (File photograph)

Bermuda’s first bank will pay $5.6 million in forfeiture and restitution payments to the United States government in a tax evasion case that dates back 20 years.

The US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service jointly announced that the Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Limited entered into a non-prosecution agreement (NPA) with the US Attorney’s Office and agreed to pay $5.6 million to the United States for assisting American taxpayers in opening and maintaining undeclared foreign bank accounts from 2001 through 2013.

The agreement that Butterfield will not be criminally prosecuted was based on the bank’s extraordinary cooperation, including its efforts in providing 386 client files for non-compliant US taxpayers, a statement from the US Attorney said.

The non-prosecution agreement requires Butterfield to forfeit $4.896 million to the United States, representing certain fees that it earned by assisting its US taxpayer-clients in opening and maintaining the undeclared accounts, and to pay $704,000 in restitution to the IRS, representing the approximate unpaid taxes arising from the tax evasion by the bank’s clients.

Michael Collins, chairman and chief executive officer of Butterfield, said: “We are pleased to resolve this matter which dates back to late 2013.

“Since that time, we have enhanced our compliance controls for business with US clients and the total payment has been provisioned. Moving forward, we remain focused on delivering for our clients and our stakeholders.”

US Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “The resolution of this matter through a non-prosecution agreement, along with forfeiture and restitution, reflects Butterfield’s cooperation in our investigation and demonstrates that cooperation, including assistance in providing US taxpayer client files, has tangible benefits.”

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Published August 03, 2021 at 5:40 pm (Updated August 03, 2021 at 5:41 pm)

Butterfield to pay $5.6m in tax evasion case

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