What's the impact this is having for FAs at UBS right now if any?NEWSMAKER-Tough U.S. judge set to preside in UBS tax case
Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:26am EDT
* Judge has ruled against big business before
* Runs tight courtroom and 'suffers no fools'
* 'Put up or shut up' seen as his message to US government
By Tom Brown
MIAMI, July 10 (Reuters) - The judge presiding over a
high-stakes legal showdown between the U.S. government and
Swiss bank UBS AG is seen as a straight-shooter who has not
shied away from taking aim at big corporate interests.
Some see Judge Alan Gold of U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Florida emerging as an international
mediator as he deals with issues loaded with important foreign
policy and financial ramifications, led by U.S. demands for a
lifting of Switzerland's treasured bank secrecy laws.
But U.S. attorneys and prosecutors who know him say Gold, a
65-year-old native New Yorker, will studiously avoid doing
anything inconsistent with his role as a judge as he handles
his biggest and most publicized case since he came to the
federal bench in Miami nearly 13 years ago.
"He's about as straight-shooter as they come," said Charles
Intriago, a former U.S. federal prosecutor and money laundering
expert, who publishes a website for law enforcement officials
about asset forfeiture.
"He's the perfect judge for this," he added, referring to
the hearing Gold is set to preside over Monday in a suit in
which the Justice Department is seeking to force UBS (UBSN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)
(UBS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to disclose information on 52,000 secret accounts
suspected of being used by wealthy Americans to avoid paying
There is little in Gold's record to indicate how he might
rule in the case, which experts say could set an important
legal precedent since it marks the biggest test ever of Swiss
Gold grabbed the media spotlight in a business law case
once before, when he presided over a class-action lawsuit
against Exxon Corp that resulted in a settlement costing more
than $1 billion.
Gold surprised some observers of the closely watched UBS
case on Wednesday by ordering the Justice Department to say
whether it was prepared to seize the U.S. assets of UBS as part
of its battle to get the bank to disclose client information.