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UBS tax evasion probe shifts focus to Hong Kong

THE US government&rsquo;s probe into tax-evasion by clients of UBS moved to Asia yesterday, after court documents revealed how the Swiss bank helped US nationals avoid taxes using a Hong Kong-based company.<br /><br />Documents filed by Californian UBS client John McCarthy &ndash; who last week pleaded guilty to failing to submit an annual report to the Treasury &ndash; have unveiled a complex scheme, which could have helped some clients cover up income or hide overseas bank accounts.<br /><br />Part of that scheme involved channelling funds to a UBS account held in Switzerland in the name of Hong Kong firm COGS Enterprises. <br /><br />The discovery marks the second time accounts associated with a Hong Kong firm have been turned up by the probe.<br /><br />The Internal Revenue Service is in the process of trawling through a list of 250 UBS client names that the bank supplied to them earlier this year.