Credit Suisse Said to Get Subpoena in Tax-Evasion Probe

(Bloomberg) -- New York’s top banking regulator sent a subpoena to Credit Suisse Group AG last week as he examines whether its private bank helped clients evade state taxes, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

Benjamin Lawsky, the superintendent of New York’s Department of Financial Services, sought records from the firm’s New York operations, including e-mails, travel records, calendars, payroll information and material on hard drives, according to the person. He also is seeking information on Roger Schaerer, a former top manager at the New York office, and on executives who worked with Schaerer, the person said, asking not to be identified because the probe is confidential.

Lawsky opened the inquiry last month, asking the bank for documents, as well as materials gathered by the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which also has examined the bank. Credit Suisse has been looking to resolve an earlier federal investigation of its alleged role in helping Americans evade taxes, a probe that already prompted the Zurich- based bank to book more than $1 billion in legal provisions and fines.

Lawsky has the power to revoke Credit Suisse’s license to operate in New York, a threat he employed two years ago against Standard Chartered Plc as part of his investigation into whether the London-based bank violated U.S. laws regarding money transfers linked to Iran. While he doesn’t have the authority to criminally charge the bank, he can refer findings to the state’s attorney general.

“Credit Suisse is cooperating fully” with Lawsky’s office, said Jack Grone, a company spokesman. Jodi Avergun, a lawyer for Schaerer, didn’t respond to a message seeking comment. The subpoena was reported yesterday by the Financial Times.

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