Being an unscrupulous banker can be a lucrative business. You can help wealthy clients hide their assets from Uncle Sam, you can sell your clients toxic assets you know you need to get off your books — there are plenty of illegal or semi-legal ways to make money when you’ve already got it at your fingertips. But of course you can go to jail if you do that.
CNN Money reports that Bradley Birkenfeld has been awarded $104 million for helping the IRS build a case against UBS for helping its clients stash cash away in tax havens. Birkenfeld is currently on house arrest for being involved in the scheme.
Since 2007 the IRS has offered incentives to whistleblowers for information leading to exposes of shady business practices. The IRS is willing to reward whistleblowers a percentage of whatever it collects based on information proffered, up to 30% according to CNN. That’s a great payday for Birkenfeld, who will probably know how to stash that money offshore on his own.