Feeds

Stolen bank data mixed into list of French tax dodgers

Swiss bank IT worker turned gov informant under protection

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The legality of a French crackdown on suspected tax evaders earlier this year has been thrown into doubt after it emerged that stolen data was among the mix of information used by financial investigators.

A list of 3,000 French nationals suspected of using Swiss banking secrecy to evade paying taxes included data handed over by a former IT worker for HSBC in Switzerland - without the bank's permission - to the French authorities.

In a statement, HSBC in Switzerland confirmed a worker suspected of stealing information from the bank between 2006 and 2007 was prosecuted last year. The data involved less than 10 accounts held by Geneva-based HSBC Private Bank, according to HSBC. It's unclear whether the unnamed worker involved was convicted of any offence. French daily Le Parisien reports that the former bank staffer has fled to France and is living under judicial protection.

French daily Le Figaro claimed on Friday that up to 4,000 French clients of the bank, collectively holding €6 billion ($8.8 billion) in assets in Switzerland, were named on the stolen list. Only an unspecified proportion of those named on the list (which sounds like a data dump, perhaps indexed by a residential address in France) are suspected of tax evasion.

Eric Woerth, French budget minister, said this week that the tax evasion list was compiled from "several sources, not only that one", a reference to the list of suspect provenance involving HSBC accounts, the FT reports. Woerth added that the government did not pay for the HSBC data.

The Minister went on the say that French authorities are in the process of going through 1,400 dossiers, which they hope might bring in €500 million ($730 million) in tax revenues, according to Swiss reports.

More on the ongoing financial mystery can be be found in reports in The Times here and elsewhere here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
Carders punch holes through Staples
Investigation launched into East Coast stores
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.