A husband and wife, Sean and Nadia Roberts of Tehachapi, Calif., were sentenced on July 31, 2012, to just over one year in prison for hiding millions of dollars in secret offshore bank accounts in Switzerland and other banks around the world. The Roberts were also ordered to pay restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the amount of $709,675, and to pay more than $2.5 million to resolve their civil liability with the IRS for failing to file the required Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Reports (FBARs).
On their 2004 through 2008 tax returns, the Robertses failed to report that they had an interest in or a signature authority over a foreign bank account. Not only did they have a Swiss bank account at UBS, which they moved to a Liechtenstein bank, but they also had undeclared accounts in the Isle of Man, Hong Kong, New Zealand and South Africa. The Robertses admitted in their guilty plea to also fraudulently deducting transfers among their foreign bank accounts as business expenses on their U.S. tax returns.
In or about May 2008, the Robertses closed their UBS account and transferred over $4.8 million to a Liechtenstein bank. They admitted that they did this after learning that UBS was under investigation by U.S. authorities and that the purpose was to ensure the continued secrecy of their account.