Accountant explains the benefits of tax havens

If you ever wondered how it is that lawyers learn about tax havens, it is from texts such as the series called “Tax Havens of the World”, written by Walter Diamond, who was an accountant at Deloitte and KPMG, and a prolific teacher of the benefits of tax havens. “Tax Havens of the World” was [...]

UK’s sweeping new law targeting bankers, lawyers, advisors, offshore professional directors, nominees with fines; and “public shaming” for enabling offshore tax evasion

Wide, Wide Net for Enablers Starting today, parts of the UK’s Finance Bill 2016 came into effect which allows the HMRC to go after so-called “enablers” who help UK tax payers avoid taxes using offshore schemes, services or arrangements, such as bank accounts, investment or broker accounts, trusts, companies, directors / officers or nominees. The amendments introduce [...]

The Anti-Money Laundering Lawyer’s Primer on Beneficial Ownership and Numbered, Shelf and Shell Companies

Beneficial ownership … Shell companies … Shelf companies … What’s the Difference?  Since the Panama Papers, there seems to be an increasing interest in, and a corresponding misunderstanding of the concepts of beneficial ownership, numbered companies, shell companies and shelf companies. Most lawyers who have done large M&A deals, including me, have created for clients, [...]

EU Parliament approves 1st reading of bill to address secrecy of beneficial ownership and require disclosure of trusts, private companies, joint venturers

Disclosure of Beneficial Ownership in EU In a sweeping set of proposals, today the European Union Parliament voted to approve, at first reading, amendments to the proposed 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive to require the disclosure of beneficial ownership. Beneficial ownership refers to the owners or beneficiaries, or both, of private companies and/or trusts as the context [...]

Canadian arrested for money laundering after allegedly transporting hundreds of millions by private jet to US & tax havens through lawyer

Private jets of cash According to an article in La Presse, Martin Grenier, a Canadian from Repentigny, Québec, was arrested in Detroit and charged on February 13, 2014, with money laundering along with two Americans, including a lawyer.  Grenier is alleged to have facilitated the laundering of so much cash, that private jets were used to transport [...]

Financial services firms and institutions expect 40% increase in regulatory compliance for FATCA and anti-money laundering

According to a 2013 Financial Crime survey, 2014 is expected to be an expensive one for regulatory compliance , with more than 20% more being spent for each of anti-money laundering compliance and compliance  with the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA“), for a total of a 40% increase. Cybersecurity The financial crime risk [...]

“The party is over” – Columbia takes action on tax evasion and imposes 33% surtax on “hit list” countries

Party is over says Columbia Minister of Finance The government of Columbia is imposing a 33% surtax on assets moved out of the country by its nationals to known tax havens. The surtax will be assessed against individuals and corporations to curb the exodus of funds out of Columbia. The government estimates that the value [...]

French government concerned over potential money laundering with vineyard purchases

Tracfin report highlights money laundering In its annual money laundering report, France’s Traitement du Renseignement et Action Contre les Circuits Financiers Clandestins (“Tracfin“) expressed concern over money laundering risks associated with the sale of  France’s most renowned wineries to investors from China, Hong Kong and Russia. The concern stems from the increase in suspicious transaction reports filed with [...]

Tax evasion, beneficial ownership and money laundering – what are the issues facing Canada at the G8 Summit next week?

A recent article in the Vancouver Sun on the attendance by Stephen Harper at the G8 summit in Ireland and the proposed measures to combat tax evasion contained an interesting statement buried at the end of the article as follows: “international organizations say… Canada has balked at a measure that would identify the true owners of [...]