An 83-year-old Massachusetts man pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan on August 20, 2012, to one count of willful failure to file an FBAR.  Jacques Wajsfelner faces up to five years in prison and will pay a civil FBAR penalty of $2.8 million.

Mr. Wajsfelner moved his approximately $5.5 million account from an unnamed “Zurich-based bank” to Wegelin Bank in June 2009 after the unnamed Zurich-based bank got into trouble with U.S. authorities.  He had already changed the name on his account in 2006 from his own to that of a Hong Kong nominee entity called Ample Lion Ltd.  From at least 1995 through 2011, Mr. Wajsfelner failed to file FBARs with the IRS.  He also filed false tax returns for those years in that he did not indicate on Schedule B of his return that he had authority over a foreign bank account.  Both the bank and the financial adviser that Mr. Wajsfelner used are currently under indictment in the U.S