"Israel’s largest bank, Bank Hapoalim, and its Swiss subsidiary have admitted not only failing to prevent but actively assisting US customers to set up secret accounts, to shelter assets and income, and to evade taxes", Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in the statement.
According to the Justice Department, the bank in 2002-2014 conspired with American taxpayers and others to hide more than $7.6 billion in more than 5,500 secret Swiss and Israeli bank accounts and the income generated in these accounts from the Internal Revenue Service.
"Today, Bank Hapoalim is being held accountable for its conduct - it has admitted to its crimes and will surrender all fees it earned, repay the United States for lost tax revenue, and pay a substantial fine", Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard Zuckerman said.
At least four senior executives of the bank were directly involved in aiding and abetting tax evasion of US taxpayers, according to the statement.
Hapoalim is Israel’s largest bank with approximately 250 branches throughout the country and more than 2.5 million accounts.