Credit Suisse Charged in Tax Evasion Case

WASHINGTON (AP) -

The Justice Department on Monday charged Credit Suisse AG with helping wealthy Americans avoid paying taxes through offshore accounts, and a person familiar with the matter said the European bank has agreed to pay about $2.6 billion in penalties.

The charge was filed in a criminal information, which is a charging document that can only be filed with a defendant’s consent and which typically signals a guilty plea.

The penalties will be paid to the Justice Department and to regulators, according to a person spoke on condition of anonymity because the guilty plea had not yet been announced.

The penalty resolves a yearslong criminal investigation into allegations that the bank, Switzerland’s second-largest, recruited U.S. clients to open Swiss accounts, helped them conceal the accounts from the Internal Revenue Service and enabled misconduct by bank employees. The case is part of an Obama administration crackdown on foreign banks believed to be helping U.S. taxpayers hide assets.