The internet is abuzz with the story of Bradley Birkenfeld. Mr. Birkenfeld is a former employee of UBS Bank. Birkenfeld recently got out of jail after confessing that while an employee of UBS, he helped American clients avoid paying taxes to the IRS. More specifically, he pled guilty to assising one client conceal $200 million in assets and avoid over $7 million in taxes. At the same time however, he was providing critical information to the Justice Department regarding some unusual practices at UBS, that eventually led UBS to admit it helped clients avoid taxes by hiding assets offshore. In February of 2009, UBS agreed to pay $780 million in fines relating to their offshore tax havens. Birkenfeld’s lawyer claims that as a result of Birkenfeld’s assistance, the IRS has been able to recover $5 billion dollars in taxes from over 30,000 US citizens. The US Government awarded Birkenfeld…wait for it…a whistleblower award of $104 MILLION DOLLARS – the largest individual whistleblower award in history.

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