The Justice Department and UBS AG cut an out-of-court deal this week after months of heated back and forth on a civil lawsuit that seeks to force the Swiss bank to divulge the names of rich Americans suspected of tax evasion. The details of the deal forged in the early hours of Wednesday morning still aren’t public but Reuters reported today that it was a hot and steamy affair.
An individual close to the negotiations told Reuters that when the Swiss and American lawyers signed off on the agreement at 2:45 a.m., they had been in a Mint Annex Building room on 9th Street NW in Washington without air conditioning for nearly five hours. D.C. was just recovering from a two-day heat wave which brought temperatures that neared 100 degrees.
“They were all sweating pretty good,” the person close to the negotiations told Reuters.
The Justice Department has demanded that UBS to turn over 52,000 names of account holders suspected of using Swiss accounts to evade Internal Revenue Service. The Swiss government turned the matter into a diplomatic issue, saying it would forbid UBS from complying with any U.S. court order to reveal the names. The latest reported settlement talks focused on some 7,000 to 5,000 accounts tied to offshore companies and trusts.
Read our previous report here.