Bradley Birkenfeld will forever go down in history as the man who brought down the Swiss banking secrecy.

Interview with Bradley Birkenfeld

The Biggest Whistleblower in History

Part 3 of the Interview with Bradley Birkenfeld

Many banks in Switzerland now profess to engage only in legal practices, kicking out any clients who don’t disclose whether they have paid taxes. Do you find this genuine?

Bradley Birkenfeld: Once again, until the Swiss open up to regulators and law enforcement around the world, they CANNOT be trusted. They might give the impression they are changing and clients are leaving to other jurisdictions but they continue to hide assets and protect certain clientele.  What about all the trusts, foundations, companies, safe deposit boxes etc. etc. No transparency or accountability there, so the Swiss have been. Forced to change and the EU and OECD should be doing much more.

What factors do you see as essential to ensuring the success, so what is your message to decision-makers?

Bradley Birkenfeld: Pass proper and proactive whistleblowing laws that protect and compensate whistleblowers for exposing waste, fraud and corruption in our society.

What’s your view on how President Trump has done through his first year?

Bradley Birkenfeld: With all the concocted witch-hunt against him and his family it is disgraceful. He won and Hillary lost – MOVE ON! President Trump has worked hard to battle Democrats, Republicans, Media and a host of liberal leaning groups that are angry Hillary lost. Well, welcome to the world of winners and losers. Trump has done quite well given. These aforementioned facts and he will continue to focus on America first and why shouldn’t he. He is keeping is election promise and doing what he says unlike most corrupt and lying politicians. You may not like it but that is not what it is about. I still is about Donald Trump implementing his policies.

Would you say the U.S. government has made significant progress in the fight against corruption?

Bradley Birkenfeld: I believe the recent IG report on the FBI further confirms what President Trump has been saying all along. Clean up the corruption or I will do it for you!  It is so ingrained but I think steps are being taken to do just that.

How would you evaluate the current U.S. administration’s stance against corruption?

Bradley Birkenfeld: I think the Trump administration has tried to weed out corruption but people will say he is corrupt. I am still waiting for FACTS on the Russsian collusion, banking fraud etc. There is NO evidence whatsoever.

What role do branches of Swiss banks, or other major international lenders, play in the home countries of tax evaders?

Bradley Birkenfeld: The Swiss banks utilized their onshore domestic offices to facilitate their offshore foreign business. They could charge higher fees, hide assets from tax authorities, spouses, business partners etc.They could accept billions of dollars from dictators and in the end claim Swiss bank secrecy. This must end and I effectively did just that.

What can other countries learn from your experience?

Bradley Birkenfeld: You better be totally complaint or a whistleblower might expose you and your firm for illegal conduct. Just ask UBS how their share price is today since I blew the whistle in 2007. Just ask UBS how many billions of dollars of client money left the bank. Just ask UBS how much they paid in legal bills. Just ask UBS how much they paid in fines. Just ask UBS how many colleagues left the bank. The list goes on and on.

The EU has created a automatic system for exchanging banking information throughout the European Union. How effective is such regulation?

Bradley Birkenfeld: Unfortunately, the EU should consult someone like me and other professionals to monitor this system to ensure full and accurate compliance.  A special committee of financial whistleblowers and bankers would be the best and most efficient system.

Because of your disclosures, the United States has taken tougher action against Swiss banks. Should the European Union follow that?

Bradley Birkenfeld: The EU should be more than proactive in this regard.The problem is so many professionals, politicians, CEO’s, billionaires had secret accounts in Switzerland at UBS and other banks. This is a global epidemic!  We need to clean up the offshore world as it has.

What impact do you hope the book “Lucifer’s Banker” will have?

Bradley Birkenfeld: It will show to the world (in different languages) that one man CAN and will make a difference when governments failed to act and are even part of the problem. It will motivate others to understand how important it is to be a courageous whistleblower and support strong whistleblowing laws of protection and compensation.  It will send a message to every Swiss private banker that you are NO longer protected by this farce called Swiss bank secrecy.  It will move to harmonize banking around the world and make society a better place.

Why aren’t there more whistleblowers like you?

Bradley Birkenfeld: Because the DOJ (During the Administration of President Barack Obama) attacked me as they hate whistleblowers. As a whistleblower, I effectively did the job the DOJ should have done for decades. They failed to do it, never fully understood it, wanted to take the credit BUT in the end I made sure the world knew this was because of me NOT because some civil servant hack in an office thinking he can tell likes to support their false narrative. Whistleblowers are obviously afraid of the repercussions: demotion, firing, intimidation, harassment, threats, divorce, finances ruined etc. etc.

Do you have any advice you’d give to people who are maybe thinking about coming forward based on your experience?

Bradley Birkenfeld: Yes. Make sure you have as many supporting internal documents to prove your whistleblowing accusations, put a timeline together of names, dates, people and places, hire a credible lawyer/law firm and ensure you contact me as I would be delighted to help anyone seeking help and assistance in this regard.

What are your plans for the future? Will you be writing more books?

Bradley Birkenfeld: I might write another book and possibly have a film made or TV series. I enjoy lecturing and advising foreign governments. I will also pursue governments to implement stronger whistleblowing laws that benefit everyone except the BAD guys!

Mr. Birkenfeld, we thank you for the interview.

 

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