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Scott Michel Quoted in The Wall Street Journal, A Dip Into Swiss Secrecy Rules

February 22, 2013, The Wall Street Journal
Excerpt taken from the article.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. informed the Securities and Exchange Commission that an account holder who allegedly conducted suspicious trades in HJ Heinz Co. was a "private-wealth client" with a Zurich-based account, according to court filings. But it said the firm doesn't have "direct access" to information about the owner of the account.

While much remains unclear, attorneys who have handled other cases involving Swiss bank secrecy in recent years offered the following answers to questions about the case.

Q: Why doesn't Goldman know the name of the account holder?

The Swiss account may be registered in the name of a corporation or foundation that obscures the name of the beneficial owner under Swiss law, according to Bryan Skarlatos of Kostelanetz & Fink in New York. The name or names can't be released without legal due process.

Q: Will the name ever be released to the SEC?

Almost certainly, said Scott Michel of Caplin & Drysdale in Washington, after proper procedures have been followed. These likely include notifying the account owner and offering him or her a chance to appeal the release of the name in Swiss court, which could take weeks or months.

Please visit The Wall Street Journal's website to view the complete article.
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