U.S. Launches Criminal Investigation of HSBC Clients Suspected of Tax Evasion

By Brian Monroe and Colby Adams

A U.S. Justice Department criminal investigation of HSBC Holdings Plc clients suspected of tax evasion may prove easier to prosecute than its case against UBS AG accountholders, say tax attorneys. The department's senior litigator Kevin Downing sent HSBC clients with accounts in India and Singapore letters informing them that they are the subject of a criminal investigation, according to media reports. A spokesperson for the department declined to comment on the number of letters or whether the investigations were part of a broader probe into the London-based bank. Two clients of Robert McKenzie, a lawyer at Arnstein & Lehr LLP,...