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Israel's Bank Leumi has been fined $130 million for a tax-evasion scheme, the New York Department of Financial Services said Monday.
The bank aided and assisted U.S. clients in evading federal and state taxes from 2000 through 2011, according to the NYDFS. Bank Leumi admitted to its violations and will move to terminate and ban employees who engaged in the scheme, the regulator said.
"Tax evasion unfairly hits every other New Yorker who works hard, plays by the rules, and meets their obligations. Bank Leumi employees engaged in a series of egregious schemes—including creating complex, sham loan arrangements—to help its U.S. clients shirk their responsibility to pay taxes," Benjamin Lawsky, New York state superintendent of financial services, said in a press release.
"What's worse, when certain Swiss banks began to put the brakes on this type of misconduct, Bank Leumi instead hit the accelerator even harder—viewing it as a 'golden opportunity' to pick up new business," Lawsky added.