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Stolen HSBC data tapped for Italian tax evasion probe

20 May 2010  |  8040 views  |  0 HSBC logo web screen shot

Italian police have launched a tax evasion investigation based on data stolen from HSBC's Swiss private banking arm by an IT employee, after being given a list of around 7000 account holders by French counterparts.

According to Bloomberg, a Turin-based court requested the Italian names on the list of 127,000 accounts belonging to 79,000 people, obtained by French authorities.

Herve Falciani, an HSBC IT employee stole the data three years ago and fled to France while under investigation before eventually handing it over to authorities.

Last month French prosecutor Eric de Montgolfier revealed that the stolen files have been decrypted and launched a tax investigation based on over 8000 accounts related to French customers.

The willingness of foreign tax authorities to pay for information relating to Swiss private bank accounts has been a growing source of diplomatic tension. In February German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned her government may buy stolen data on Swiss accounts.

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