Swiss Leaks

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Generally Accepted Facts from Wikipedia

Swiss Leaks (or SwissLeaks) is the name of a journalistic investigation, released in February 2015, of a giant tax evasion scheme allegedly operated with the knowledge and encouragement of the British multinational bank HSBC via its Swiss subsidiary, HSBC Private Bank (Suisse).

Investigation

In February 2015, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) website released information about bank accounts in Switzerland under the title Swiss Leaks: Murky Cash Sheltered by Bank Secrecy. The investigation was conducted by over 130 journalists in Paris, Washington, D.C., Geneva, and 46 other countries.

Investigators allege that 180.6 billion euros passed through HSBC accounts held in Geneva by over 100,000 clients and 20,000 offshore companies between November 2006 and March 2007. The data for this period comes from files removed from HSBC Private Bank by a former staffer, software engineer Hervé Falciani, and handed to French authorities in late 2008. The disclosed information has been called "the biggest leak in Swiss banking history".

The ICIJ alleges that the bank profited from tax evaders and other clients.

Media coverage

BBC reported that HSBC had put pressure on media not to report about the controversy, with British Newspaper The Guardian claiming HSBC advertising had been put "on pause" after The Guardian's coverage of the matter. Peter Oborne, chief political commentator at Daily Telegraph resigned from the paper; in an open letter he claimed the Daily Telegraph suppressed negative stories and dropped investigations into HSBC because of the bank's advertising. CBS published a story about the leaks in the news segment 60 Minutes.

Relation to #Pizzagate

Connection to the Clinton Foundation

According to The Guardian, "The charitable foundation run by Hillary Clinton and her family has received as much as $81m from wealthy international donors who were clients of HSBC’s controversial Swiss bank. Leaked files from HSBC’s Swiss banking division reveal the identities of seven donors to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation with accounts in Geneva."

Connection to Jeffrey Epstein

The Guardian also reported that convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein also kept funds in the controversial Swiss branch. "The HSBC files show Epstein connected to several Geneva accounts, one of which was in his own name and contained $3.5m. He gave $25,000 to the Clinton charity in July 2006, the year after he was arrested following a complaint he sexually abused a 14-year-old teenager in Florida, according to tax disclosures from Epstein’s New York-based nonprofit, the COUQ Foundation."

Connection to Frank Giustra

Frank Giustra, a Canadian mining magnate and one of the Clinton Foundation’s biggest financial backers, was one of the foundation's wealthy international donors who was also a client of HSBC’s controversial Swiss bank.