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Abusive Tax Shelters

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Constantine Cannon Attorneys Eric Havian and Michael Ronickher Published in Law360 on the Need for Anti-Money Laundering Whistleblower Rewards

Posted  12/12/18
In the wake of anti-money laundering enforcement activity spurred by the Panama Papers, Constantine Cannon attorneys Eric Havian and Michael Ronickher published an article in Law360 on why we need an anti-money laundering whistleblower program. Havian and Ronickher argue for a new, DOJ-led whistleblower program to close the “large enforcement gap” left open by the existing IRS and SEC programs: “Domestic law enforcement agencies have great difficulty detecting and prosecuting...

December 4, 2018

In connection with their work for the "Panama Papers" law firm of Mossack Fonseca & Co. and its affiliates, Ramses Owens, Dirk Brauer, Richard Gaffey, and Harald Joachim Von Der Goltz have been indicted for actions related to the firm's efforts to circumvent U.S. tax laws on behalf of their clients through the use of offshore accounts and shell companies which Mossack Fonseca created.  The defendants then used an alleged “playbook” to repatriate un-taxed money into the U.S. banking system. The defendants are charged with wire fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering, among other offenses. In the last two months, three of the defendants have been arrested; Ramses Owens remains at large.  DOJ

Money Laundering Watch: Will More Chickens Come Home to Roost Following Deutsche Bank Raid?

Posted  11/30/18
The Panama Papers fallout continues with a massive early morning raid on Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. Some 170 officers searched for evidence of the bank’s role in over $350m worth of suspected money-laundering through organizations in the British Virgin Islands. Deutsche Bank confirms the investigation is related to the Panama Papers: the April 2016 release of over 11 million files about 200,000+ offshore shell companies. The documents revealed...

October 5, 2018

Following a court trial, a federal court in Utah has ordered that RaPower-3 LLC and International Automated Systems, Inc. stop all promotion and marketing and disgorge $50 million collected in an abusive tax scheme involving false tax deductions and solar energy credits.  The companies and their principals marketed what they claimed was technology that could be used in the production of solar energy and which, they further claimed, entitled the purchasers to take certain tax deductions and solar energy tax credits.  In fact, however, the technology was phony and defendants knew that its purchasers would not be entitled to the tax deductions and credits.  DOJ

Ex-HSBC Whistleblower Released From Custody as EU Campaigns for Stronger Whistleblower Protections

Posted  04/9/18
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team Law360 reports on a former HSBC employee wanted by Switzerland for allegedly leaking information about important clients to tax authorities who was released from custody in Spain. Herve Falciani was arrested last week by Spanish police on an international arrest warrant. Falciani had been sentenced to five years in prison by a Swiss court who tried him in absentia for industrial espionage related to...

2017 Whistleblower of the Year Nominee -- Paradise Papers Whistleblower(s)

Posted  12/22/17
This “Whistleblower Spotlight” features the Paradise Papers leaker(s), an unnamed whistleblower (or whistleblowers) responsible for shining a light on the widespread use of illicit offshore tax havens. The November 2017 exposé revealed where government officials, royalty, entertainers, and powerful corporations store their cash to avoid taxes.  The details are in 13.4 million documents, such as emails and presentations, handed over to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, the same publication that first...

Following Panama Papers, EU Investigative Committee Proposes Tougher Tax-Evasion Measures

Posted  12/14/17
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly to adopt over 200 non-binding recommendations proposed by an investigative committee formed in the wake of the explosive Panama Papers leak. The recommendations include new regulations targeting tax avoidance, such as regulating tax intermediaries and expanding protections for tax whistleblowers. The committee also recommended establishing a new permanent panel with authority to investigate tax evasion by multinational corporations. The...

New Leak of Documents Exposes Tax Shelters, Other Financial Wrongdoing

Posted  11/9/17
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team The “Paradise Papers,” a leak of financial documents from a Bermuda-based law firm called Appleby, shed light on the use of offshores by some of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful people. This is the world’s second biggest leak of such documents, topped only by lasts year’s “Panama Papers.” The 13.4M files were obtained by a German newspaper and reviewed by the International Consortium...

August 15, 2017

Prime Partners SA ("Prime Partners") entered into a non-prosecution agreement ("NPA") with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and agreed to pay $5 million to the United States for assisting U.S. taxpayer-clients in opening and maintaining undeclared foreign bank accounts from 2001 through 2010. The NPA was based on Prime Partners’ extraordinary cooperation, including its voluntary production of approximately 175 client files for non-compliant U.S. taxpayer-clients, and provides that Prime Partners will not be criminally prosecuted. The NPA requires Prime Partners to forfeit $4.32 million to the United States, representing certain fees that it earned by assisting its U.S. taxpayer-clients in opening and maintaining these undeclared accounts, and to pay $680,000 in restitution to the IRS, representing the approximate unpaid taxes arising from the tax evasion by Prime Partners’ U.S. taxpayer-clients. DOJ

July 19, 2017

A citizen and resident of Switzerland pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States in connection with her work as the head of a team of bankers for Credit Suisse AG, announced the Justice Department’s Tax Division. According to the statement of facts and the plea agreement, Susanne D. Rüegg Meier, admitted that from 2002 through 2011, while working as the team head of the Zurich Team of Credit Suisse’s North American desk in Switzerland, she participated in a wide-ranging conspiracy to aid and assist U.S. taxpayers in evading their income taxes by concealing assets and income in secret Swiss bank accounts. Rüegg Meier was responsible for supervising the servicing of accounts involving over 1,000 to 1,500 client relationships. She was also personally responsible for handling the accounts of approximately 140 to 150 clients, about 95 percent of whom were U.S. persons residing primarily in New York, Chicago and Florida, which held assets under management totaling approximately $400 million. Rüegg Meier admitted that the tax loss associated with her criminal conduct was between $3.5 and $9.5 million. DOJ
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