San Diegan gets probation for hiding assets overseas

City News Service

A San Diego man was sentenced in federal court Monday to three years probation for hiding assets in secret offshore bank accounts.

Jeffrey Chatfield was also ordered to pay more than $96,000 to resolve his civil liability with the Internal Revenue Service for failing to file the required Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Reports.

Chatfield's sentence was handed down by U.S. District Judge Michael Anello.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Chatfield filed false tax returns for 2000 through 2008 in which he failed to report that he had an interest in or a signature authority over Bahamian and Swiss financial accounts at UBS and Credit Suisse.

The defendant also failed to report income earned on the Swiss bank accounts and never filed any FBARs disclosing his interest in an offshore financial accounts, prosecutors said.

In or about 2000, with the assistance of a UBS banker, Chatfield opened a bank account at UBS Bahamas Ltd. in the name of nominee entity Alder West. Chatfield deposited into the account about $900,000 in untaxed securities and cash that he received in 2000 from his consulting work, which included advising private companies seeking to go public, according to the U.S. government.

In August 2002, Chatfield closed the Alder West account and, with the assistance of his UBS banker and others, formed Iberia West Ltd., a Bahamian nominee entity, prosecutors said.

Chatfield then opened a new Swiss account at UBS in the name of Iberia West and transferred into that account securities and cash previously held at UBS Bahamas Ltd., according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

In August 2004, Chatfield closed his Iberia West account and transferred all remaining assets to an account at Credit Suisse, also held in the name of the nominee entity Iberia West.

In 2008, Credit Suisse told Chatfield that it was closing all accounts held by U.S. taxpayers. Chatfield closed the account that same year, prosecutors said.

In February 2009, UBS entered into a deferred prosecution agreement under which the bank admitted to helping U.S. taxpayers hide accounts from the IRS. As part of the agreement, UBS provided the United States government with the identities of, and account information for, certain U.S. customers of UBS's cross-border business, including Chatfield.

   
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