|France's Ex-Finance Minister Admits to Secret UBS Account|
France's former Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac has admitted to prosecutors that he owned an undeclared EUR600,000 Swiss bank account for 20 years before secretly moving it to Singapore in 2009.
For several months Cahuzac has been vehemently denying the accusation, first published in an online magazine, and issuing threats of defamation actions against all who reported it. But last month he resigned his post after being warned he was to be questioned by examining magistrates. Following his public admission this week, he has now been charged with laundering the proceeds of tax fraud.
His secret account was originally opened at UBS, and later transferred to another Swiss institution, Reyl & Cie. From there the funds were moved to Singapore in 2009. According to his lawyer, the funds represent earnings from Cahuzac's work as a cardiologist and plastic surgeon many years ago.
In a statement, Cahuzac said he had been ‘caught in a spiral of lies and lost my way.’
President Hollande, who originally appointed Cahuzac as head of his government's tax enforcement initiative, has now promised to introduce new rules forcing ministers to publish all their assets and financial interests. Politicians convicted of fraud or corruption will in future be banned from office.
The opinions expressed do not constitute investment advice and specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
Published on our website on April 7, 2013