Bank Leumi Says Talks to Settle U.S. Tax Probe in Advanced Stage

By David Voreacos, Bloomberg.com

Jun 8, 2014 – Bank Leumi Le-Israel Ltd. said it’s in advanced talks to settle a U.S. investigation into whether it helped Americans evade taxes and has set aside 950 million shekels ($275 million) to resolve the matter.

The bank, Israel’s second-largest, won’t plead guilty under an accord still being negotiated, according to two people familiar with the matter who weren’t authorized to discuss it publicly. Leumi will resolve matters related to its Swiss unit as well as those outlined in criminal charges against several taxpayers in federal court in Los Angeles, one person said.

Leumi would be the first Israeli bank to settle a tax probe with the U.S. Justice Department, which secured a guilty plea last month from Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN)’s main bank subsidiary and a $2.6 billion penalty. The settlement would resolve Leumi’s activities on behalf of U.S. taxpayers between 2002 and 2010, the Tel Aviv-based bank said today in a statement.

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