WASHINGTON, DC (CNN) - A scathing Senate report accused the Swiss bank Credit Suisse of helping wealthy American hide billions of dollars from the IRS.
The matter is being discussed in a Senate hearing Wednesday.
"Investigation has revealed another unfortunate example of a foreign bank succumbing to the charms of compensation over compliance and uncovered, for years, Credit Suisse greatly profited by helping US clients hide billions of dollars of taxable assets from the US Treasury," said Sen. John McCain, R-AZ.
Executives from the banking giant and Justice Department officials have testified. The chairman for the Homeland Security Investigations Subcommittee, Sen. Carl Levin, D-MI, took Credit Suisse representatives to task for operating in the U.S. but hiding behind Swiss laws.
"You come to this country, and you are governed by this country's laws - by almost universally accepted law," Levin said. "And yet you hide behind the Swiss law even though you are operating here and that is just simply not going to cut it. The trouble is that the Justice Department is being deterred by the Swiss government's law, which you folks cite.
"Year after year after year goes by with subpoenas not being enforced to get the names that we have got to have if we are going to enforce our tax laws and collect taxes which are owed to the United States."
The report alleged Credit Suisse participated in an elaborate operation that involved tools such as a secret, remote-controlled elevator to private banking suites.
Credit Suisse stated a small group of private bankers violated its policies without the knowledge of executive management.
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