Heirs Get Prison Time for Not Reporting Offshore Accounts
Henry Seggerman's four children did not report the millions of dollars he hid in offshore bank accounts - and now they are going to jail.
They chose to keep the accounts hidden from the Internal Revenue Service, and on June 26 their decision came back to haunt them. Although they spent almost a decade helping prosecutors in a probe of tax evasion, they were sentenced to federal prison.
Seggerman, a pioneer of international investing, left a $24 million estate, with almost half of it in undeclared Swiss accounts. His four heirs pleaded guilty to tax fraud and agreed to cooperate in the prosecution of Michael Little, a British attorney who helped the family hide the money in Switzerland.
Little was convicted of tax a crime last year and sentenced to 20 months behind bars. Prosecutors urged U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel in Manhattan to spare Yvonne, John, Suzanne and Henry Seggerman from prison, noting their substantial cooperation. Castel gave them credit for helping the government, but he said their decision to hide the accounts required a term of imprisonment.
Henry was sentenced to six months because he had known since the early 1990s that his father had millions in unreported accounts and he’d made trips to the Bahamas and Mexico to bring money back to the U.S. The other three, who got involved later, got four months each.
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