Kathryn Keneally Leaves DOJ Following Credit-Suisse Plea Deal
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The U.S. Department of Justice's top tax enforcement official, Kathryn Keneally, has announced that she would be leaving her job, the DOJ announced in a press release. Keneally, 56, is credited with securing a $2.6 billion settlement from Credit Suisse and a guilty plea from the Swiss bank for helping U.S. citizens evade taxes. The Justice Department said that Keneally will be leaving her job effective 5 June.
Speaking on her departure, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said, "As a result of her determined efforts, her exceptional judgment, and the tireless work of her colleagues across the division -- and their partners nationwide -- the Tax Division has secured historic gains in our fight to protect the American people from tax fraud and financial misconduct and to hold accountable any individual, bank or other institution that violates our tax laws."
Holder further added, "I will miss her wise counsel and her tireless commitment to the mission we share."
During Keneally's tenure as Assistant Attorney General the division had intensified its enforcement efforts to clamp down on tax evasion using offshore accounts. Keneally was instrumental in forging the policy to allow Swiss banks to resolve past wrongdoing against full cooperation with the DOJ. The program had the support of both the U.S. government and the government of Switzerland.
As a result of Keneally's efforts more than 100 banks which were previously not subjects of investigation, came forth to offer important information to U.S. law enforcement officials. Wegelin, the oldest bank in Switzerland pleaded guilty in January 2013 to felony tax charges. The guilty plea by Credit Suisse, the second largest bank in Switzerland was announced by the DOJ this May. Credit Suisse's settlement involved the highest-ever payment in a criminal tax case.
Keneally also focused on combating stolen identity refund fraud, and in September 2012, the division announced radically updated procedures to respond to online identity theft. Prosecutions under the new procedures led to a significant number of convictions.
Keneally assumed the post of Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division on April 6, 2012. Earlier, she practiced law in New York City, representing individuals and businesses before the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice in criminal and civil tax cases. She also appeared and tried cases in the federal district and appellate courts, and in the U.S. Tax Court.
Keneally had also served as the chair of the ABA Section of Taxation's Committees on Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties and Standards of Tax Practice, and was a vice chair of the Section of Taxation.