Bradley Birkenfeld, the former UBS AG banker who provided information on the bank’s facilitation of tax evasion by some of its wealthy U.S. clients, will receive a whistleblower award of $104,000,000. Of course, that’s only about $60,000,000 after taxes, but still not bad. The law sets whistleblower awards at up to 30% of the amount recovered. The amount awarded represents 26% of the $400 million in taxes collected from UBS. According to the government, Birkenfeld’s information led to the collection of $5 billion in taxes and penalties from UBS clients, but this sum is excluded from the award computation.
That’s too bad for Birkenfeld. To paraphrase the Sean Parker character in the Social Network, $104 million is cool but $1.62 billion would be way cooler.