By Andrew Longstreth
At a time when the federal government is facing fiscal challenges, it is receiving record amounts of revenue from at least one source: criminal fines and penalties paid by major corporations.
The latest contributor is the Swiss UBS AG bank, which on Wednesday agreed to pay $500 million in criminal fines and penalties to the U.S. government for its role in the growing scandal over the rigging of global benchmark interest rates. (UBS also agreed to pay the Commodity Futures Trade Commission $700 million to resolve civil allegations.)
UBS joined a long list of companies that have shelled out billions of dollars in criminal fines and penalties to the U.S. government in 2012. In July, the British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay a $956 million criminal fine to settle a healthcare fraud case. And in September, the Taiwan-based AU Optronics Corp was fined $500 million for price fixing in the market for liquid crystal display panels.
So where does all the money go?