By: George Mikhail
An award of $104 million was given to a former UBS AG banker, Bradley Birkenfeld, for assisting the United States government on tackling international tax evasion and collecting billions of tax dollars. In 2007, Birkenfeld courageously started cooperating with the IRS and giving them information that led to UBS paying $780 million for criminal charges and an amnesty program that collected more than $5 billion in taxes and penalties from account holders.
He provided details on how UBS encouraged tax evasion while he was still employed by the bank. The large award indicates how serious the IRS is when it comes to tax evasion as well how far they will go to stop international banks promoting tax evasion. $104 million is the largest award yet given to a whistleblower. Birkenfeld's heroic actions and huge award should encourage future whistleblowers to step forward and speak up.