Saturday, August 29, 2009
As Obama Golfs with UBS CEO Days After Firm Avoids Criminal Prosecution, UBS Whistleblower Given 40-Month Jail Term
On the first day of his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, President Obama spent five hours golfing with UBS executive Robert Wolf, an early financial backer of Obama’s presidential campaign. As the pair teed off, another UBS banker, Bradley Birkenfeld, had just been handed a forty-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to assisting a client evade taxes. It was the first sentence in a wider scandal that has seen UBS admit to helping wealthy Americans dodge their tax obligations. On his own initiative, Birkenfeld blew the whistle on UBS. His disclosure and cooperation with US authorities provided inside information into the bank’s conduct and sparked the massive federal investigation.