Bradley Birkenfeld, the former UBS Group AG banker, who as a whistleblower helped US authorities prosecute the Swiss bank for tax fraud, only to then spend two-and-a-half years in prison for helping a billionaire client evade taxes, has filed a US$20m libel lawsuit against his former employer.
Birkenfeld, who, following his release from prison, in 2012 got a record US$104m award from an Internal Revenue Service whistleblower program, has faulted UBS over statements that were published last November and this month by the New York Post and Bloomberg BNA Daily Tax Report.
According to reports on Reuters, Birkenfeld said UBS acted with “actual malice” by referring to his “often unsubstantiated” recollections in a recent book and having been “convicted in the US for, among other things, having lied to the US authorities.”
He said UBS did this as part of an international campaign to impede his effort to expose its “decades-long wrongdoing,” and undercut the credibility and sales of his book “Lucifer’s Banker: The Untold Story of How I Destroyed Swiss Bank Secrecy” (cover, pictured left).
As reported, International Investment met with Birkenfeld, (pictured above), last November and conducted a special video interview where he criticised the actions of his former employer and laid out plans to help even more countries extract missing taxes from the firm.