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The 47 year–old's disclosures to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and other US authorities helped force a $780m settlement between UBS and the US in early 2009.
As part of the settlement, UBS handed over the details of 250 accounts Americans had – a figure that later climbed close to 5,000.
Although Mr Birkenfeld acted as a whistleblower, he was also sent to prison for his own role in helping UBS clients evade tax after he pleaded guilty in 2008.