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Kevin Costner Shuts Down Lawsuit From Author Who Accused Him Of Hiding $20 Million In Swiss Bank Account

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By Ryan Naumann

Kevin Costner has come out victorious in the lawsuit involving allegations he stashed $20 million in a Swiss bank account.

According to court documents obtained by The Blast, a Federal Court judge has dismissed the lawsuit brought by an author named Bradley Birkenfeld.

The court sided with Costner by granting his motion to dismiss finding the actor had no ties to Florida, where the case was filed.

As The Blast first reported, last year, a man named Bradley Birkenfeld sued Costner and billionaire Leonard Lauder in Federal Court.

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In the lawsuit, Birkenfeld said he wrote a 2016 book called "Lucifer's Banker," about his work in the banking industry and his role as "a world-renowned whistleblower."

Birkenfeld claimed he "voluntarily disclosed to multiple United States law enforcement authorities and the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (“PSI”) the existence of 19,000 Americans with secret, offshore, undeclared, numbered bank accounts at UBS, Switzerland, an offshore mecca for billionaires, to evade United States income taxes, capital gains taxes, estate taxes, or otherwise engage in illegal conduct.” He claims his work helped the government recover "more than $20 billion from American taxpayers in back taxes, fines, and penalties."

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In his manuscript, he claimed Lauder and his mother were owners of an offshore bank account in Switzerland. He claimed Costner, "had a $20 million account in the Private Banking Unit [of UBS]."

In September 2016, before the book was set to be published, Birkenfeld claimed Costner’s lawyers threatened legal action unless they were removed from the book. The suit claimed the demands delayed publication, caused his publisher to destroy tens of thousands of previously printed books, required him to hire an additional attorney to vet the book, damaged his reputation, and forced him to increase his literary insurance to $3 million.

He said both Costner and Lauder were eventually removed from the book but claims it led to "substantially diminished the newsworthiness and global sales" of the book. Costner denied the allegations calling Birkenfeld a “convicted felon who admitted conspiring to defraud the US government out of taxes on hundreds of millions of dollars, who admitted smuggling diamonds into the country in a toothpaste tube, and who served time in federal prison.”

The actor’s lawyer was adamant, “Mr. Costner never had any UBS Swiss account or any offshore accounts whatsoever.” He demanded the suit be thrown out of court.

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