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News Link • Whistleblowers

IRS pays $104 million to whistleblower

•, By Stephen Dinan
Bradley Birkenfeld, the whistleblower, “provided information on taxpayer behavior that the IRS had been unable to detect,” the agency said in granting the award.

“The IRS today sent 104 million messages to whistleblowers around the world — that there is now a safe and secure way to report tax fraud and that the IRS is now paying awards,” Mr. Birkenfeld’s lawyers said in a statement. “The IRS also sent 104 million messages to banks around the world — stop enabling tax cheats or you will get caught.”

The National Whistleblower Center said it’s the first major award issued under the IRS’s tax whistleblower law.

Mr. Birkenfeld was a banker for UBS, a giant Swiss bank, and the information he provided led to fines of nearly $800 million.

“The comprehensive information provided by the whistleblower was exceptional in both its breadth and depth,” the IRS said in a memo backing up the award judgment. “While the IRS was aware of tax compliance issues related to secret bank accounts in Switzerland and elsewhere, the information provided by the whistleblower formed the basis for unprecedented actions against UBS AG.”

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