3 Swiss bankers accused of $1.2B U.S. tax fraud

NEW YORK - Three Swiss bankers are charged in a New York indictment with conspiring to hide more than $1.2 billion of taxpayer assets from the Internal Revenue Service.

Federal authorities said in a release that the indictment was returned Tuesday. They said the bankers worked as client advisers at the Zurich branch of a bank they identified only as "Swiss Bank A." They said the men conspired with U.S. taxpayers and others to hide the existence of Swiss bank accounts and the income they generated from the IRS.

They said the men engaged in the conspiracy in 2008 and 2009 following news reports that the IRS was investigating UBS AG and another large international Swiss bank for helping U.S. taxpayers evade taxes. The defendants live in Switzerland.

Swiss banks, which have a longstanding practice of offering clients secrecy, have come under steady attack by U.S. authorities, highlighted by the probe into banking giant UBS which led to a deal between US and Swiss authorities, reports Agence France Presse.

"60 Minutes" report on the eroding of Swiss banking secrecy