US tax-evasion probe turns to Israeli banks

By REUTERS
September 16, 2011 02:59

 
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The US pursuit of offshore tax evaders is widening to include Israel, where US authorities are scrutinizing three of Israel's largest banks over suspicions their Swiss outposts helped American clients evade taxes, people briefed on the matter said.

The banks under scrutiny by the US Justice Department's criminal tax division are Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi le-Israel BM and Mizrahi-Tefahot, the sources said.

The shift to Israel from Switzerland, for years the main focus of the Justice Department's campaign against offshore private banking secrecy, signals the broadening of a landmark probe by the agency that began in 2007 with UBS AG, Switzerland's largest bank.

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