UBS Whistle-Blower's Ex-Lawyers Seek Share of IRS Award

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UBS Whistle-Blower’s Ex-Lawyers Seek Share of IRS Award

UBS Whistle-Blower’s Ex-Lawyers Seek Share of IRS Award

Business Week-

A Washington law firm that worked for Bradley Birkenfeld, the former UBS AG (UBSN) banker who exposed how the Swiss lender helped Americans evade taxes, claims it’s owed $13 million of his $104 million whistle-blower award.

Birkenfeld hired Schertler & Onorato LLP in 2006 to help him tell the U.S. how UBS used Swiss bank secrecy to cheat the Internal Revenue Service. Birkenfeld, now 47, told his story the next year to the IRS, the U.S. Justice Department, the U.S. Senate and the Securities and Exchange Commission. He agreed in October 2007 to pay the law firm 12.5 percent of any IRS whistle-blower award, according to court documents.

Birkenfeld served 31 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy and was released on Aug. 1, six weeks before the IRS gave him the largest federal whistle-blower award for an individual. Birkenfeld had fired Schertler & Onorato in 2008, and his new law firm says the 12.5 percent accord is no longer binding.

[BUSINESS WEEK]

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