Israel’s Bank Hapoalim has agreed to pay a fine of nearly $875m to settle accusations that it helped wealthy American taxpayers hide money in secret offshore accounts.
The bank admitted that it colluded with US taxpayers to hide over $7.6bn in over 5,500 secret Swiss and Israeli bank accounts from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
According to the prosecutors, Bank Hapoalim and its Swiss unit helped thousands of US customers evade taxes and hide assets from 2002 to 2014.
Out of the $875m, Bank Hapoalim will pay $220m to the New York State Department of Financial Services.
At least four senior executives of the bank were directly involved in aiding and abetting tax evasion of US taxpayers, the report added.
The Israeli bank decided to shut down its Swiss operations as part of its efforts to avoid future regulatory violations.
FIFA corruption scandal
The bank has also agreed to pay over $30m to resolve the allegations that the bank helped launder more than $20m in payments to corrupt officials of FIFA.
The FIFA scandal, which dates back to 2015, took place through the bank’s Miami branch with many of the payment bribes tied to marketing rights for the Copa America.
The bank inked a three-year nonprosecution deal with the justice department, which includes a commitment to improving its money-laundering controls.
In a statement, FBI New York field office assistant director William Sweeney said: “This announcement illustrates another aspect in the spider web of bribery, corruption and back-room deals going on behind the scenes as soccer games were played on the field.
“Bank Hapoalim admits executives looked the other way and allowed the illicit activity to continue even when employees discovered the scheme and reported it.”