(Bloomberg) -- Bradley Birkenfeld, the former UBS Group banker who won a $104 million whistle-blower award after serving time in prison for tax conspiracy, won a U.S. judges permission to testify in France in a separate probe of the Swiss bank.
U.S. District Judge William Zloch ruled Tuesday that Birkenfeld can travel to Paris to testify before French judge Guillaume Daieff on Feb. 27. Daieff is leading investigative judges probing whether UBS, the largest Swiss bank, engaged in laundering the proceeds of tax fraud.
Zloch, who sits on the federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, sentenced Birkenfeld to 40 months in prison after he pleaded guilty in 2008 to conspiracy. The U.S.-born banker told authorities how UBS helped thousands of American clients avoid taxes. In 2009, UBS paid $780 million to avoid prosecution, admitted it aided tax evasion and turned over data on thousands of Swiss accounts.
Birkenfeld won the largest whistle-blower award in U.S. history after his release in August 2012. He served 30 months in prison, a month of community confinement and three months in home confinement.
UBS had to pay a security deposit of 1.1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in September to cover a potential French penalty. The bank appealed the bail amount and has said it would ask the European Court of Human Rights to overturn it.
In his ruling, Zloch said Birkenfeld could travel between Feb. 24 and March 1 and should provide his probation officer with travel times and flights, as well as phone numbers where he can be reached.
The Justice Department agreed to Birkenfelds travel, despite opposing his request last month to end his probation with less than a year left so he could move to Europe. Zloch denied that request. Birkenfelds probation ends Nov. 28.
The case is U.S. v. Birkenfeld, 08-cr-60099, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (Fort Lauderdale).
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