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Nicola Sharp of financial crime specialists Rahman Ravelli considers the DPA obtained by Swiss Life Holdings after it helped taxpayers avoid their responsibilities

Author: Nicola Sharp  27 May 2021

Switzerland’s largest life insurance company is to pay more than $77 million after admitting it helped US taxpayers dodge tax responsibilities through offshore accounts.

Swiss Life Holdings will pay the penalty to the US Treasury. Manhattan federal court documents show that Swiss Life and three of its subsidiaries obtained a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) on a conspiracy charge in late April.

The 164-year-old company admitted conspiring with US taxpayers to hide assets and income through offshore insurance policies totalling more than $1.4 billion.

In a brief statement posted on its website, Swiss Life says: “Swiss Life has reached a resolution with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) concerning the DOJ’s inquiry into the legacy business with US clients that had been announced in September 2017. The resolution is in the form of a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with a three-year term.

“Swiss Life is now focused on fulfilling the requirements under the resolution and successfully concluding the DPA.’’

The Swiss Life case is another example of the US’ increasing use of DPAs. It is yet another indicator that conducting thorough internal investigations and cooperating fully with the prosecuting authorities enhances the chances of companies obtaining a DPA and – by abiding by all the terms of the DPA – avoiding criminal charges.

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Nicola Sharp

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Nicola is known for her fraud, civil recovery and business crime expertise, her experience of leading the largest financial disputes and multinational investigations and her skills in devising preventative measures and conducting internal investigations for corporates.

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