Like Steven Michael Rubinstein, who earlier this month became the first UBS client charged in the investigation, Moran is a Florida yacht dealer charged with a single count of tax fraud. The Times specifies that the two are “not connected” except inasmuch as theirs were two of the 285 names the ailing Swiss bank, which today announced it would cut another 7,500 jobs after posting a $1.8 billion loss, handed over to the IRS earlier this year as part of a $780 million settlement into its tax evasion business.
Yachts were a “fertile recruiting ground” for UBS, according to Bradley Birkenfeld, the former UBS private banker whose “statement of facts” in the criminal probe of his role in the bank’s tax evasion business provided the basis for much of the larger investigation. And Moran is a resident of Lighthouse Point, Florida — also an address used by Birkenfeld’s most famous client Igor Olenicoff, the billionaire real estate developer for whom Birkenfeld once laundered cash by traveling to the United States with a toothpaste tube full of diamonds. Birkenfeld’s statement confesses to “numerous overt acts [of tax fraud] in Broward County,” where both Rubinstein and Moran reside. Both men appear to be cooperating in the investigation.
Tantalizingly, the Times reports that Moran chartered yachts for “Kuwaiti royals, Russian oligarchs and other global jet-setters” — many of whom are presumably not subject to American tax laws. But the story is far from over. Any bank that can afford million dollar a week fees to charter yachts in which to lure prospective clients is probably hiding many more millions from the IRS. A source tells the paper:
The authorities have opened more than 100 criminal investigations of UBS clients, some of whom are notable names on Wall Street, according to a person briefed on the issue who requested anonymity while discussing criminal inquiries.