An odd warning here. : //www.panamalaw.org/banking_warning.html
What they don’t say is that these services are as worthless as the $50,000 asset protection services a USA law firm used to peddle. They simply won’t stand up vs scrutiny!
Grandpa will write a longer article about this– but the long & short of his comments will be that the new treaties forced upon the banks of the World by BB require information exchanges upon request & disclosure of the “true beneficial owners” who must or soon will have to be disclosed to the bank.
Any offshore bank, in turn, must have a list of these people & usually disclose the identity of USA beneficial owners to the USA govt upon request. There are a few exceptions, but in my opinion, the exceptions are being squeezed. In a few words, the concept of bank secrecy is on the way out.
There is more to it, but the basic idea is that any USA person who uses a trust or any other means to “hide” his interest in assets held abroad offshore is a criminal facing humongous penalties if something goes wrong and if for instance a biz partner or spouse spills the beans on him/her.
There may still be a few legal ways to get around this. But I have learned that if a loophole exists, you never put it into print, as it will be closed or soon made illegal. The fact is that for Americans,t merely holding most but not all! assets abroad and not reporting them is now a big crime. Huge fines & jail sentences!
The arrangements suggested by Panama Law are anything but secure. Because they openly seek such business, they will be the 1st to be raided; their principals kidnapped & brought into the USA in bags to face criminal conspiracy charges, they will be jailed, and records confiscated, – &-just like Marc Harris—pressured to “sing” about any & all their clients.
In fact, panamalaw.org <//www.panamalaw.org/banking_warning.html> may well be a honeypot sting; or equally likely just a swindle to get people’s money & then make it impossible for their depositors or clients to ever get back control over their own assets. Or, these could be well-intentioned guys– but they will surely fold under pressure!
There are still many ways to “get your ass and your assets out of the country” and to do it LEGALLY, but the client must have the correct mental state no intention of tax evasion and be willing to do it in a way that Grandpa reveals only to trusted & qualifying clients.
Grandpa also advises how to “do it yourself… trust no one!” A person should never entrust control or sign power over his assets to any trustees, representatives, lawyers or otherwise, or under power of attorney. Such trust always means there is a substantial risk that they will lose their money. There may be a few exceptions and there are ways to ensure that control is retained, but once again, this info is reserved for well-known consulting clients.
Grandpa agrees that bank secrecy, while not yet totally dead, is being squeezed out of existence. An unreported, conventional Swiss, Cayman, Panama, Guatemala, Cook Islands or ANY numbered “secret” bank account in any financial or tax haven is potentially dangerous –, especially for Americans. Citizens of other countries are in a different position. Some much better, none worse.
Gramps wud add that they mix fact and fiction like a scammer would, in an effort to make “only” their services the logical choice.
It is true that virtually all banks want apostilled documents and bank and /or CPA letters of reference to open new accounts. Yet is it certainly not true that asking for or showing these documents are “suspicious” and will be reported to anyone. The fact is that Panama Law is violating a universal banker’s rule that you should always “know your customer.” These documents, plus certified i.d., utility bills, passports, driving licenses, etc. are required by any respectable bank – anywhere– offshore or otherwise.
If Panama Law is willing to open a trust relationship without “knowing the customer” it means they are willing to accept serious criminals using false identities as clients, and if anything will bring heat on them, that will –unless they already are “the heat.”
They say: In Guatemala, Anything civil would, of course, have no chance of penetrating attorney-client privilege. Even if this is true today, which it certainly isn’t in Civil Fraud cases, it will take only one case where the USA Department of Justice demands assistance from a Guatemalan Court and freezes Guatemalan Bank assets in the USA. Banks and governments have a way of quickly caving in when their testicles err- assets are being squeezed and frozen.
Further, if they are really licensed and regulated lawyers before I sent them any confidences or money, I would like to know the name of the firm and be able to check and see if they are in fact in the Guatemala public registry –and if there are any pending complaints against them. The statements they make on their website are not characteristic of the risk-averse conservative approach taken by lawyers. But then I admit being biased against lawyers –mainly because they want to keep you as a client forever & never let you be able to operate independently of them. My goal is to get clients to be confident, self-reliant, and on a good path, as soon as possible.
They can check out their proposed moves with me anytime without any further charges. Another consideration I’d like to investigate is the status of attorney-client privilege i.e. secrecy of communications with Guatemala attorney. These guys seem to me to be USA based, and if so, there is NO secrecy in their communications with American clients about “Offshore” activities. In fact, the stuff that they seem to be advising is pretty clearly “criminal conspiracy” to evade USA reporting law.
The bottom line for me is that “It just doesn’t smell right.”
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