$104 Million Awarded to Jailed Whistleblower

Former UBS AG (NYSE: UBS) banker Bradley Birkenfeld has been granted a whistleblower award of $104 million for supplying the U.S. Internal Revenue Service with information on more than 4,000 secret accounts that UBS held for U.S. taxpayers. The award stems from information that Birkenfeld provided to the I.R.S.in 2007. Birkenfeld pleaded guilty in 2008 to one charge of conspiracy and is currently serving the last part of a 40-month sentence in federal prison in a home confinement program.

Birkenfeld's lawyers said they believe this is the largest reward ever paid to an individual U.S. whistleblower. UBS paid a $780 million fine in 2009 to resolve the case.

UBS disclosed data on about 250 accounts and finally turned over information on more than 4,450 others. According to Bloomberg News, since the UBS case more than 33,000 U.S. citizens have voluntarily disclosed overseas accounts which generated about $5 billion in tax collections.

Birkenfeld's award is taxable.

Paul Ausick

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Banking & Finance, Law, Tax Tagged: UBS