Speed Reads

Crime and punishment

83-year-old man pleads guilty to hiding more than $1 million from IRS

On Tuesday, an 83-year-old man pleaded guilty to stashing away $1.1 million from the IRS in undisclosed bank accounts in Switzerland and Israel.

Bernard Kramer of Delray Beach, Florida, referred to his accounts as "Hot Lips" in communications with Swiss bankers, a criminal filing stated. Kramer opened his first secret account in Switzerland in 1987, but moved over to an Israeli bank in the late 2000s after UBS started turning over the financial data of clients to U.S. federal prosecutors. Court filings say Kramer would ask for checks of less than $10,000 so the bank would not have to report it to government regulators.

Kramer has to pay a civil penalty of $588,042 and any past due taxes, and might also have to spend up to eight years in prison. He is just one of several wealthy Americans that USA Today reports is being prosecuted for not paying taxes on income in overseas accounts, part of a crackdown on offshore tax evasion by IRS investigators and the Department of Justice.