United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
ADELMAN DISTRICT JUDGE.
this action, the United States of America seeks to enforce
civil penalties against Ram Agrawal for his alleged
non-willful failure to timely report his financial interest
in or authority over certain foreign bank accounts. Agrawal
has represented himself throughout this litigation. Now
before me is the United States' motion for summary
Agrawal was born in India and moved to the United States in
or around 1970. He is a United States citizen. He completed
his graduate education in the United States, and then worked
in the United States as a geophysicist and later as a math
instructor at the Milwaukee Area Technical College. He
received an inheritance from his parents in the form of CDs
that were held in India. In or around 2002, Agrawal renewed
or purchased new CDs at the State Bank of India. Some of
these new CDs matured in 2004 and the remainder matured in
September 2004, Agrawal and his wife jointly opened an
account at UBS, a Swiss investment bank. Agrawal used money
from CDs in India that were maturing to fund the UBS account.
Agrawal directed UBS to invest the money in non-US SEC funds,
which would be non-taxable. The maximum value of the UBS
account was $999, 350 in 2006; $967, 129 in 2007; $930, 531
in 2008; and $671, 425 in 2009. In 2009, UBS notified Agrawal
that it intended to close the account. In 2010, Agrawal
closed the account and received a check from UBS for $671,
424.65, which was the remaining account balance.
Treasury Department regulations in effect during the period
when Agrawal held the UBS account, he was required to report
the account to the Treasury Department every year. 31 C.F.R.
§§ 103.24, 103.27 (2009). The regulations required
him to use a form prescribed by the Secretary of the
Treasury: Form TD F 90-22.1, Report of Foreign Bank and
Financial Account, commonly referred to as an
“FBAR.” However, for each of years 2006, 2007,
2008, and 2009, Agrawal failed to submit timely FBARs with
respect to the UBS account. He also failed to report the
State Bank of India CDs, the UBS account, or the gain or loss
from the UBS account on his tax returns for those years.
deposition, Agrawal testified that he prepared his own tax
returns in 2006 and 2007, but relied on CPAs to prepare his
tax returns in 2008 and 2009. He testified that he did not
tell the CPAs of the existence of the UBS account. Regarding
the 2008 tax return preparation, Agrawal testified as
Q. Did [the CPA] ask you whether you had a foreign financial
A. I said no.
Q. You told him no?
Q. But at this time you still had the UBS account, correct?
Q. Why did you tell [the CPA] no?
A. Because again, the word of [the UBS representative] that
these-this account is not-non-taxable in the U.S. …
Q. You didn't tell [the CPA] that you had a UBS account
but were told that it was non-taxable and didn't ...