Magnifying Deterrence by Prosecuting Professionals

54 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2013 Last revised: 14 May 2013

See all articles by Scott A. Schumacher

Scott A. Schumacher

University of Washington - School of Law

Date Written: March 1, 2013


This article examines the recent series of criminal prosecutions against tax professionals and offshore bankers. These criminal cases, brought against the largest Swiss bank (UBS), the oldest Swiss bank (Wegelin), one of the largest accounting firms in the world (KPMG), as well as numerous lawyers and accountants, was a dramatic shift for the U.S. Department of Justice. After decades of tolerating abusive tax shelters and tax haven banks, the Government changed its policy. However, rather than indicting the individuals and corporations who invested in tax shelters or hid money in offshore accounts, the Justice Department indicted the lawyers, accountants, and bankers who advised them. This article will analyze those prosecutions from a theoretical, historical, and practical perspective, and will examine the impact the new prosecution policy will have on the legal professional, the tax system, and international relations.

This is the first article to examine these issues, and it is a combination of my prior scholarship involving tax shelters and criminal tax matters, including my casebook TAX CRIMES. The article will be of great interest to anyone teaching or practicing in the areas of taxation, criminal law, and criminal theory. It will also appeal to those interested in the role of lawyers and other professionals within the legal system. It therefore should have wide appeal amongst faculty readers, as well as practitioners and policy-makers.

Keywords: Tax havens, tax shelters, prosecuting professionals, tax crimes, criminal theory

JEL Classification: H26, H25, K14, K34

Suggested Citation

Schumacher, Scott A., Magnifying Deterrence by Prosecuting Professionals (March 1, 2013). 89 Ind. L.J. ___ (2014) Forthcoming, University of Washington School of Law Research Paper No. 2013-17, Available at SSRN:

Scott A. Schumacher (Contact Author)

University of Washington - School of Law ( email )

William H. Gates Hall
Box 353020
Seattle, WA 98105-3020
United States


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