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Feb 11, 2012 11:17 AM by Matt Stafford

Justice Department calls Swiss Bank a "fugitive"

NEW YORK (AP) - The Justice Department is calling Switzerland's largest private bank a fugitive from justice after it didn't show up for a court hearing in New York.

The bank was indicted on Feb. 2. Since then, U.S. officials haven't found a way to move the case forward.

Wegelin & Co. is charged with conspiring with American clients to hide $1.2 billion from the Internal Revenue Service.

In a statement issued in Switzerland after the court hearing, the bank said it had not been properly served with the criminal summons. It said it was therefore under no obligation to appear in court. As for the charges, the bank suggested that there was a conflict between US and Swiss law.

The bank was summoned to appear before a federal judge at 3 p.m. Friday, but no one showed.

The judge presiding over the case asked prosecutors for a proposal on what to do next. The hearing ended without any immediate resolution.

 

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