Judge Denies Former Credit Suisse Banker’s Request to Leave Country

October 29, 2012
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U.S. Judge Lurana Snow denied a plea from former Credit Suisse and UBS banker, Christos Bagios, to leave the country temporarily to visit Switzerland and Greece while he awaits trial on several tax evasion charges.

Bagios, a native of Greece, requested permission to travel from Florida, where he is out on $625,000 bail, to visit his ailing mother in Greece and wife and children in Switzerland. However, Judge Snow noted that given the current charges levied against him for several tax law violations, and the prison sentence he is facing, Bagios is considered a flight risk. Further, the former banker is experiencing difficulty meeting his financial obligations – such as rent – which may increase the likelihood that he will not return to Florida for trial, prosecutors noted.

“Permitting the defendant to travel to his country of origin or residence would be an invitation to flee,” Judge Snow wrote in her testimony, according to Bloomberg.

Bagios is one of nearly two dozen bankers facing tax evasion charges from a 2008 crackdown on offshore tax violations. He was arrested in January 2011 for his role in assisting more than 150 Americans to hide roughly $500 million in unreported income from the Internal Revenue Service during his tenure at UBS. If he is convicted, he faces a five-year prison sentence for his complicity in these federal crimes.

Court proceedings regarding the large crackdown are still ongoing, with seven former Credit Suisse bankers being indicted last year and 50 U.S. taxpayers being charged with tax law violations, Bloomberg reports. While UBS was able to avoid prosecution through a massive $780 million payout, the bankers and other parties that facilitated the tax law violations were not.