Justice seeks offshore account-holders

WASHINGTON, April 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. Justice Department asked a federal judge in Denver Wednesday to approve service of a "John Doe" summons to examine a company's offshore records.

The summons against First Data Corp. will allow the Internal Revenue Service to get information about as-yet unidentified U.S. merchants who use offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes, the Justice Department said Wednesday in a news release.


The petition alleges the merchants opened offshore accounts and directed their payment card processor -- in this instance First Data -- to deposit proceeds from debit or credit card transactions directly in the offshore accounts.

"Some United States taxpayers are evading billions of dollars per year in United States taxes through the use of offshore accounts. The Department of Justice will ensure that the IRS obtains all the necessary information to identify these taxpayers, whether they are individuals or businesses," said John DiCicco, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Tax Division.

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