People I advise would (hopefully) never use one of these high profiles — now exposed firms. Same with any of the banks or lawyers who promote “structures” and actively seek out clients wanting “secrecy.” The recently exposed BV Islands outfits advertised, gave seminars. As a result they had thousands of high profile clients. Most of them were represented by the same law firm.
From what I could see the few people so far named on these “secret lists” –like Denise Rich (wife of Marc Rich) may have set up trusts and secret accounts because they wanted privacy, but they probably broke no laws. After all Denise had renounced her USA Citizenship and moved to Europe to get out of the USA tax net. If any offshore lawyer has dictators, drug kingpins, corrupt politicians and tycoons as clients, all his records are going to be subject to theft by employees, followed by scrutiny, blackmail and publication. And there is an even greater danger I discuss below…
Aside from that fact, the recent BVI related articles are full of inaccuracies. The British Virgin Islands are now where near the “leading” offshore haven. It is still the USA (for non-USA citizens or residents) followed by Switzerland. Then Hong Kong and Singapore. Even Panama is much bigger than BVI in terms of size of assets held, and in number of clients… BVI is a small fry in the game, a teeny weeny bit player. Other midgets are Liechtenstein, Andorra, Cook Islands and Monaco. Belize and Uruguay are so small they are off the radar. Of course a few billion here and a few billion there –even on deposit with the little guys, amounts to big money.
HOW TO PREVENT YOUR PERSONAL RECORDS FROM HITTING THE FRONT PAGES?
You hide your diamonds in a pile of sand, not in a pile of other diamonds. In other words, don’t follow the crowd in using advisory , legal services (or any bank) that is bound to have high profile clients —some of whom are bound to be shady. They are always getting involved in insider trading, divorces, & lawsuits.
Here is an even greater danger: Many lawyers themselves get accused of criminal activities. In those cases the banks and associates betray and give them up quickly.
Advisers (and banks like UBS) often make deals to turn in all their clients in exchange for a slap on the wrist and personal immunity. All client activities and deal making, investment holdings, plus interbank transfers to other accounts is exposed. Related clients, disbursements, dividends, bribe payments –everything– is revealed in court papers that reporters will comb for stories.
They want the public to believe they can read “scandalous secret revelations.” But like the old “True Confessions” magazine, the headlines are attention getting. Inside, the story is usually just gossip— “much ado about nothing.” In the present case, the headlines promised vast lists of Americans with secret accounts. But none were named aside from a few who had earlier confessed to unrelated crimes and were currently serving time.
Bottom line is that if you want to hide your assets and protect your ass, get a copy of BYE BYE BIG BROTHER and make it beside reading every night for a year or so. It will show you how to be a “P.T.” who doesn’t follow the crowd.
Once you have absorbed the BBBB material and the free updates from “Grandpa” you will never be caught with your pants down.
Post your comments, thoughts, related personal experiences, corrections, or questions below.