Four of investor Harry Seggerman’s six children had a choice when he died in 2001 with more than $12 million illegally stashed in Swiss bank accounts — declare their share and pay taxes or keep the scam going.
They chose the latter.
But when the racket was finally exposed, the finger pointing began — with sibling snitching on sibling and all of them ratting out their late dad’s British lawyer.
When the dust settled, they wound up in Manhattan federal court for sentencing on Wednesday, and scored remarkably light sentences for their long-running scheme.
The eldest, Henry Seggerman, 66 — who knew about his dad’s tax fraud before Henry died — got the stiffest punishment: just six months in prison.
A former producer of low-budget horror films, including “Leprechaun 3,” Henry also worked for Paramount during the 1980s, when he was instrumental in obtaining the rights to “Crocodile Dundee” so it could be shown in the US, where it became a smash hit.
His siblings — Yvonne Seggerman, 63; Suzanne Seggerman, 56; and Edmund Seggerman, also 56— were sentenced to four months each.
Under federal guidelines, they had faced 46 to 57 months, but Judge Kevin Castel cited their cooperation with prosecutors as a reason for the big breaks.
In a polite understatement, Castel called the intra-family snitching “peculiar in my experience.”
The feds began investigating the Seggermans in 2009, following a $780 million tax-fraud deal with Switzerland’s largest bank, UBS, which agreed to cough up the names of nearly 4,500 American account holders.
About 3,000 US tax cheats jumped at an amnesty deal, but the Seggermans weren’t among them.
Suzanne — co-founder of the nonprofit Games for Change, which promotes “social impact” video games — was the first one busted, and she pleaded guilty in 2010 in a deal to cooperate with prosecutors.
Suzanne confessed to sneaking some of her inheritance into the US by traveling to the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and bringing back just under $10,000 in cash to avoid reporting requirements.
She also had her husband and daughter allegedly carry cash home during those trips.
In court Wednesday, Suzanne was the only sibling to show any emotion, wiping away tears as she read a prepared statement that blamed her crimes on “weakness” and “poor judgment.”
“I’m so sorry for the terrible decisions I made after my father died,” she said.
As part of her deal, Suzanne provided evidence against lawyer Michael Little, who orchestrated the distribution of Henry’s cash and helped his heirs illegally funnel their money into the US, including through loans from a fraudulent foundation.
Little pitched the idea to the siblings during a meeting at the Four Seasons Hotel several months after their dad’s death from diabetes at age 73.
Little, 68, is serving a 20-month sentence imposed after a jury convicted him of conspiracy and related charges last year.
Suzanne also snitched on her siblings, who all quickly folded and followed her lead.
Their dad made his fortune as one of the first mutual fund managers to invest in Asian companies. He retired as vice chairman of Fidelity Investments in 1992, and was president of the International Investment Advisers hedge fund when he died at age 73.
According to court papers, his widow, Anne Seggerman, was present during the meeting at the Four Seasons, but no charges were filed against her.
She didn’t return a message and the Manhattan US Attorney’s Office declined to comment
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