Former Swiss Bank Executive Rolf Schnellmann Pleaded Guilty to Tax Fraud Conspiracy By Helping Americans Hide Money From Uncle Sam
A former Swiss executive pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiring to defraud the United States government. Rolf Schnellmann operated a scheme to help high-net-worth U.S. taxpayers conceal their income by hiding assets in offshore accounts.
Court documents show Rolf Schnellmann was the former head of Allied Finance Trust AG. Allied Finance Trust AG is a Zurich-based financial services company and a subsidiary of the Allied Finance Group in Liechtenstein. The government alleges that 2008 to 2014, Schnellmann and his co-conspirators defrauded the IRS by concealing income and assets of high-net-worth U.S. taxpayer-clients. Schnellmann also put clients money in undeclared bank accounts in a Swiss private bank named Privatbank IHAG Zurich AG (IHAG).
Schnellmann and his co-conspirators operated a scheme dubbed the “Singapore Solution.”
The goal of the scheme was to fraudulently conceal the bank accounts of the U.S. taxpayer-clients from U.S. authorities. Schnellmann and his co-conspirators conspired to transfer more than $60 million from the clients’ undeclared IHAG bank accounts through a series of nominee accounts in Hong Kong and other locations. Then, they would return the funds to a newly opened accounts at IHAG. However, the accounts would be in the name of a Singapore-based asset-management firm that was a co-conspirator. The U.S. taxpayer-clients paid large fees to IHAG and others to help them conceal their assets to evade taxes.
Authorities arrested Schnellmann in Italy in August. US authorities immediately extradited him to the United States. The federal judge in the case has scheduled a sentencing hearing on July 19, 2024. Schnellmann faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.