Imagine vacationing in a beautiful city in Europe with your family when suddenly, you are handcuffed, taken to a holding cell and then extradited back to the US. You are not part of any criminal organization nor have you ever committed a crime, but still your family witnesses this terrifying scenario and your friends are reading stories about your alleged corruption in media and social media outlets.
This happened to Raoul Weil, UBS’s former global wealth-management chief. Weil lost his job in 2008 after U.S. authorities indicted him on a charge of conspiring to defraud the United States by conspiring with as many as 17,000 taxpayers to hide $20 billion in Switzerland. He was ultimately arrested while vacationing in Italy, extradited to the U.S. and then spent months under house arrest. Weil was found innocent in late 2014.
Several former UBS colleagues chose to cooperate with U.S. authorities in exchange for favorable sentencing. They testified against Weil who they said directed them to perform illegal activities to help U.S. clients keep their accounts hidden from tax authorities. Weil’s attorneys blamed rogue bankers under him for the illegal activity adding that offshore private banking was only a tiny fraction of his job.
Weil was found to be innocent in spite of the false allegations made against him. Those allegations cost him his job, and part of his personal and business reputation. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of dollars he needed to spend in his legal defense!
It seems imperative to create a defense pre-emptively before false allegations can be aimed at you! A fact often over-looked or even unknown to some corporate executives is that in criminal cases, when the executives and the corporation are deemed to be targets of the investigation, corporate attorneys represent the corporation only – NOT the executives. Therefore, executives should implement their own executive limited compliance program or owner/executive protection program that can provide a solid defense against false allegations targeted at an innocent owner or executive.
We have represented many clients over the last 30 years and know exactly how to protect you before a case can ever be built. The Stone McGuire & Siegel owner/executive protection program creates a repository of evidence to prevent a case from ever being built against you; we like to think of it as insurance for your reputation. After all, your reputation is one of your most valuable assets.
For more information, please fill out this form and we will schedule some time with you to discuss your ‘reputation insurance’.