Bank Hapoalim tax settlement provides insight into cooperation credit

The recent resolution of a nine-year-long tax evasion investigation of the largest Israeli bank, Bank Hapoalim B.M., and its Swiss subsidiary, conducted jointly by the DOJ Tax Division and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, sheds light on the application of cooperation credit in large criminal tax cases, especially in the context of recent DOJ guidance such as the Corporate Enforcement Policy.

In this guest article, Hogan Lovells counsel David Sharfstein, partner Peter Spivack, and knowledge lawyer Rebecca Umhofer detail how the resolution of this case is notable not only for the severity of the punishment, which included the subsidiary's felony conviction for conspiracy and US$874 million in penalties, but also for the DOJ's comments about the inconsistent level of cooperation provided by Bank Hapoalim during the lengthy investigation.

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