Stolen bank data mixed into list of French tax dodgers

Stolen bank data mixed into list of French tax dodgers
Stolen bank data mixed into list of French tax dodgers

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By John Leyden
The Register
11th December 2009 

The legality of a French crackdown on suspected tax evaders earlier this 
year has been thrown into doubt after it emerged that stolen data was 
among the mix of information used by financial investigators.

A list of 3,000 French nationals suspected of using Swiss banking 
secrecy to evade paying taxes included data handed over by a former IT 
worker for HSBC in Switzerland - without the bank's permission - to the 
French authorities.

In a statement, HSBC in Switzerland confirmed a worker suspected of 
stealing information from the bank between 2006 and 2007 was prosecuted 
last year. The data involved less than 10 accounts held by Geneva-based 
HSBC Private Bank, according to HSBC. It's unclear whether the unnamed 
worker involved was convicted of any offence. French daily Le Parisien 
reports that the former bank staffer has fled to France and is living 
under judicial protection.

French daily Le Figaro claimed on Friday that up to 4,000 French clients 
of the bank, collectively holding =E2=82=AC6 billion ($8.8 billion) in assets in 
Switzerland, were named on the stolen list. Only an unspecified 
proportion of those named on the list (which sounds like a data dump, 
perhaps indexed by a residential address in France) are suspected of tax 


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