Swiss lawyer pleads guilty to helping US citizens avoid tax

Former Niederer Kraft & Frey (NKF) partner Edgar Paltzer has pleaded guilty to a single count of engaging in a conspiracy to committ offences against the US Internal Revenue Code.

Paltzer was indicted in April this year (3 May 2013) alongside private banker Stefan Buck by US authorities, alleging they had conspired to help US citizens avoid paying tax.

Last week Paltzer travelled to the US and appeared before a magistrate in the Southern District of New York for a bail hearing. On Friday (16 August), following a plea agreement, he pleaded guilty to one count of engaging in a conspiracy with US persons to commit “various offences” under the US Internal Revenue Code. The allegation involved the services Paltzer provided to US citizens as a financial intermediary.

According to a statement from Paltzer’s lawyer, Duane Morris partner Thomas Ostrander, Paltzer is fully cooperating with the Department of Justice. He was not detained by authorities and is able to return to Switzerland.

Ostrander said: “This is an extraordinary sequence of events. Mr Paltzer has moved swiftly and cooperatively to resolve this matter with the Justice Department and the court, and has been appropriately treated with dignity and respect as he worked to make the resolution of the charges as expeditious as possible. He welcomes the rapid progress of the case.

“Edgar’s conduct is an outstanding example of how to deal with adversity in an increasingly complex world,” he added.

The Duane Morris statement added that Paltzer was looking forward to the resolution of the matter and to resuming his private client practice in Switzerland.