UPDATE 1-U.S. reaches deals with four more banks under Swiss program

jueves 28 de mayo de 2015 13:10 GYT

(Adds details of penalties, wrongdoing; adds NEW YORK to dateline)

By Karen Freifeld

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK May 28 (Reuters) - Four more Swiss banks have cut deals with the U.S. Department of Justice to avoid possible prosecution for helping Americans evade taxes, the department said on Thursday.

The banks are Societe Generale Private Banking (Lugano-Svizzera), MediBank AG, LBBW (Schweiz) AG, and Scobag Privatbank AG. The banks agreed to pay penalties ranging from $9,090 to $1.36 million.

The banks settled under a voluntary program the Justice Department launched in 2013 to allow Swiss banks to resolve potential criminal charges by disclosing cross-border activities that helped U.S. account holders conceal assets.

Under the program, banks also must provide detailed information on the accounts of U.S. taxpayers under investigation.

Three banks settled under the program earlier this year and dozens more are expected to do so in the coming months.

Banks that were already under criminal investigation, such as Julius Baer and HSBC's Swiss private bank, were excluded from the program.

Swiss banks have come under intense pressure to give up their traditional secrecy in recent years.   Continuación...