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In 2009, as U.S. prosecutors were bearing down on Swiss bank UBS (UBS) to disclose the names of tax cheats, thousands of wealthy Americans decided it was best to avoid prosecution and come clean with the Internal Revenue Service. Under a limited amnesty program, they disclosed their secret offshore accounts and paid the taxes they owed, along with the reduced penalties that were part of the deal. They also agreed to turn over records and cooperate with the IRS.