February 14, 2015 / 8:03 PM / 2 years ago

U.S. whistleblower summoned to testify in UBS case in France

2 Min Read

Bradley Birkenfeld makes remarks before surrendering to authorities at the Schuylkill County Federal Correctional Institution in Minersville, Pennsylvania, January 8, 2010.Tim Shaffer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A former UBS AG UBSN.S banker who helped U.S. authorities prosecute the Swiss bank in a tax fraud case has asked for permission to travel to France to comply with a subpoena in another investigation of the company, according a court document.

Bradley Birkenfeld, who received more than $100 million for being a whistleblower but also served 30 months in prison in the U.S. case, has been subpoenaed to take part in the French case later this month, according to a motion his lawyer filed in the U.S. District Court of Southern Florida.

Birkenfeld, who pleaded guilty in 2008 to conspiring to defraud the United States, remains on supervised release from prison. He must have court permission to go to Paris to appear before a judge on Feb. 27 in the French UBS investigation.

In December, Birkenfeld, who lives in New Hampshire, had asked the court to allow him to move to Europe, but the Justice Department had recommended against it. The new motion, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, said Justice Department lawyer Mark Daly had agreed to allow him to make the trip to France.

Birkenfeld's tips led UBS to settle with U.S. regulators in 2009 for $780 million in fines, penalties, interest and restitution, but he went to prison after the government said that he had withheld information. UBS had been accused of helping thousands of wealthy Americans hide billions of dollars in secret Swiss accounts, and the U.S. case led to investigations of other banks.

He received a record $104 million reward under an Internal Revenue Service whistleblower program. One of Birkenfeld's lawyers said his information brought in $5 billion in taxes from banks and individuals.

Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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