Today we once again turn our attention to the fascinating world of international money laundering. As I mentioned in a previous post, it’s no secret that in recent years the US government has made a concerted effort to close the Swiss-cheese-like loopholes in both the federal tax and criminal codes that have allowed so many to essentially completely dodge their tax obligations.
However, yesterday a landmark piece of legislation called the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FACTA) took effect that may essentially put an end to the time-honored tradition of stashing your ill-gotten gains/Nazi blood money/FIFA World Cup bribes/despotic-dictator-corruption-skim, etc. in a handy-dandy numbered Swiss account.
This is great news if you’re a law-abiding citizen of the world, or a sovereign government trying to collect taxes that it’s owed, but it may significantly complicate matters for the criminal underworld and big-time tax dodgers. After all, once you steal a billion dollars, you gotta launder a billion dollars. Ask any old-school mafioso or Russian oligarch: Cleaning the money is often more difficult than stealing the money.
Fear Not, Thou Amoral Criminal, New York Real Estate Brokers Have a Solution For This Conundrum:
As detailed by New York Magazine, and referenced by Alison Griswold in today’s Slate, money is flowing into high-end Manhattan real estate transactions faster than you can say “Jamie Dimon”:
The original piece by Andrew Rice, perfectly titled “Stash Pad,” is fascinating and well worth a read:
The proverbial plot (or Swiss fondue pot, as it were) thickens…
You may recall last week’s post detailing the indictment of a dual Swiss-US citizen on tax evasion and conspiracy charges, and the ominous news that said individual was cooperating with the US government in helping identify wealthy American citizens who were actively engaging in tax evasion by utilizing the heretofore sacred Swiss banking secrecy laws.
Well, Bloomberg is now reporting that US and Swiss negotiators have reached the outlines of a deal that will get the Feds off the back of Swiss banks who do business with Americans, and if you’re a wealthy US tax dodger, the news isn’t so wonderful:
“The accord will require banks making disclosures to describe fully how they enabled tax evasion, including third-party advisers and other professionals involved, the person said. They also must disclose information on an individual basis about U.S. clients with direct or indirect ownership of accounts, including their dollar values, the person said.”
I’m sure you, like us, will be waiting with bated breath to see what slithers out from under the rocks of the Swiss banks once they’re overturned. We’ll update as news becomes available.
See the full story at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-28/u-s-swiss-said-to-reach-deal-in-offshore-tax-probe.html
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