The Swiss megabank UBS is under investigation by German authorities for aiding and abetting its customers’ efforts to evade taxes. It joins a long list of major global banks accused of criminal activity. It is rare for bank employees ever to be personally convicted and we don’t expect any UBS employees to serve time of these alleged crimes.
An exception to this rule are employees of Bernard Madoff’s brokerage firm in New York. After a massive Ponzi scheme was discovered by prosecutors in 2008, nine employees of the Madoff firm pled guilty to an array of charges. Bernie Madoff himself was sentenced to 150 years in federal prison. Among his defrauded customers were pension funds upon which working people rely for their income upon retirement. The level of criminal activity engaged in by the financial services industry is mind numbing.