A) PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
At the New York County Lawyers’ Association on October 3, 2017 from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM, I will be the program chair of “Whistleblowers, Secret Swiss Bank Accounts & Recovering Hidden Assets.” Attendee registration is available at the website available here or by calling the New York County Lawyers’ Association at (212) 267-6646. During the October 3rd program, I highlight the use of whistleblower tips to recover hidden assets. I show how to search for assets which can be hidden by high net worth divorcing spouses; corporations; Ponzi schemers; tax fraudsters; etc. I talk about tools you can use to recover assets hidden in Switzerland and other places across the globe. The October 3rd program also focuses on the Internal Revenue Service & Securities Exchange Commission whistleblower programs which can provide qualifying tipsters with the largest payouts compared to any other reward programs in the world.
Washington, D.C. attorney Jack Blum is well-known internationally for his representation of whistleblowers. In addition to others he has represented, Mr. Blum will talk about Mr. Hervé Falciani, the whistleblower the media dubbed “the [Edward] Snowden of Swiss banking.” Mr. Falciani allegedly stole Swiss bank account information from HSBC in Geneva and as a whistleblower turned the information over to French authorities. This alleged HSBC bank account information eventually fell into the hands of the International Consortium Of Investigative Journalists, which published part of it at their webpages known as the Swiss Leaks project. Furthermore, Mr. Blum appeared on the CBS/60 Minutes television show to discuss the foregoing. He will similarly discuss these matters at the October 3rd program and analyze: the IRS whistleblower program; problems whistleblowers face in the real world; and the difficulty lawyers may encounter in dealing with whistleblowers either as clients or tipsters.
Labaton & Sucharow partner Jordan A. Thomas will also speak at the October 3rd program. Mr. Thomas will discuss the Securities Exchange Commission’s whistleblower program, as he is one of the world’s leading experts on it. He will review the advantages and disadvantages of the different whistleblower programs; and the ethical concerns gatekeepers like attorneys, accountants, officers and directors have, in reporting illegal behavior in both the civil and criminal contexts. As more fully set forth below, Mr. Thomas: is a former assistant director in the Commission’s Enforcement Division; had a leadership role in developing the Commission’s whistleblower program; and was assigned to many of the Commission’s highest-profile matters such as those involving Enron, Fannie Mae, UBS & Citigroup.
Charles Bott QC, Head of Carmelite Chambers in the United Kingdom, is a recognized authority on financial crime and its regulation. Subject to his availability, Mr. Bott may travel to New York to speak at the October 3rd program. He has appeared in more than 80 serious fraud trials including some of the leading cases of recent years and advised many other clients under investigation. Mr. Bott specializes in cases of serious fraud, money laundering and revenue evasion; and in the United Kingdom, he is regularly instructed in serious criminal cases and regulatory cases of all kinds.
B) MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
I. FRED L. ABRAMS has located tens of millions of dollars hidden in offshore tax havens and filed legal proceedings in Zurich, Geneva, Tel Aviv, Amsterdam and Puerto Rico to seek discovery from foreign bank witnesses. A member of the New York bar since 1990, he has handled a wide variety of legal matters in which assets were hidden, such as RICO, money laundering, identity theft and tax fraud.
Practicing in the asset recovery areas of financial intelligence, financial fraud investigations and forced collection proceedings, Fred L. Abrams has been cited on these topics by Reuters; Forbes Magazine; The New York Times; MoneyLaundering.com; FoxBusiness News; etc. As a guest of the New York County Lawyers’ Association, the Queens County Bar Association, the Brooklyn Bar Association, the Nassau County Bar Association & the Suffolk County Bar Association, he has presented continuing legal education programs regarding the recovery of assets during matrimonial &/or bankruptcy &/or other legal cases.
At the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the Massachusetts’ Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the 8th Annual OffshoreAlert Financial Due Diligence Conference and the June 2014 Carmelite Chambers International Fraud & Asset Recovery Conference, Fred L. Abrams additionally lectured about how assets may be fraudulently concealed domestically and abroad.
II. JACK BLUM’s Washington, D.C. law practice focuses on whistleblower representation, anti-money laundering compliance, international tax evasion and the representation of victims of financial crime and fraud. He is a graduate of Bard College and Columbia Law School and in the U.S. is admitted in the District of Columbia and the Federal Courts. Mr. Blum has been an expert witness for the U.S. Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service. He additionally served as associate counsel, or assistant counsel, or special counsel to three U.S. Senate committees or subcommittees; and been quoted by or mentioned in thousands of newspaper and magazine articles around the world.
Since Mr. Blum resigned at the end of 2008 as “Of Counsel” to Baker & Hostetler’s Washington, D.C. office, he works as an expert witness and consultant on fraud and money laundering compliance for various private clients, governments, and government agencies. Mr. Blum also practices law part-time for a select group of clients. Two of Mr. Blum’s clients are whistleblowers Rudolf Elmer and Heinrich Kieber. Former Swiss banker Rudolf Elmer provided tips about suspected tax cheats: to the IRS; a U.S. Senate subcommittee; the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office; and to WikiLeaks at a January 17, 2011 Frontline Club press conference in London. Mr. Elmer’s whistleblowing ultimately led to his criminal prosecution by Swiss authorities, on charges that he violated Swiss bank secrecy law.
Although not a Swiss banker like Mr. Elmer, Heinrich Kieber was a computer specialist for Liechtenstein’s private banking and asset management firm, the LGT Group. Mr. Kieber became a whistleblower by handing tax authorities data concerning suspected tax cheats who maintained offshore bank accounts at LGT. German authorities paid Mr. Kieber nearly $7.4 million for this data and put him in a witness protection program. At the same time, authorities in Liechtenstein accused Mr. Kieber of stealing the data from LGT Group and Interpol issued a red notice, (i.e. an international arrest warrant), for him. There was also reported to be a $10 million bounty on Mr. Kieber’s head.
III. JORDAN A. THOMAS joined Labaton Sucharow, LLP in 2011 to lead the nation’s first practice exclusively focused on protecting and advocating for whistleblowers who wish to report violations of the federal securities laws. A nationally sought after writer, speaker and media commentator on securities enforcement, corporate ethics and whistleblower issues, Mr. Thomas entered the private sector following a long and successful career in federal law enforcement. At the SEC, (where he played a leadership role in the development of the agency’s whistleblower program), he served as an Assistant Director and previously, as an Assistant Chief Litigation Counsel in the Division of Enforcement. Throughout his tenure at the SEC, Mr. Thomas was assigned to many of its highest-profile matters such as those involving Enron, Fannie Mae, UBS, and Citigroup. He successfully investigated, litigated and supervised a wide variety of enforcement matters; cases that resulted in monetary relief for harmed investors in excess of $35 billion.
Prior to joining the Commission, Mr. Thomas was a Trial Attorney at the Department of Justice, where he specialized in complex financial services litigation involving the FDIC and Office of Thrift Supervision. Mr. Thomas began his legal career as a Navy Judge Advocate on active duty and continues to serve as a senior officer in its Reserve Law Program. Earlier, he worked as a stockbroker.
Throughout his career, Mr. Thomas has received numerous awards and honors. In 2012, he was named a Legal Rebel by the American Bar Association Journal. Ethisphere Institute, an internationally recognized think tank, selected Mr. Thomas as a Rising Star in its listing of 2012 Attorneys Who Matter. While at the SEC, he received the Arthur Matthews Award, two Law and Policy Awards, four Chairman’s Awards, four Division Director’s Awards and a Letter of Commendation from the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. Mr. Thomas is also a decorated military officer, who has twice been awarded the Rear Admiral Hugh H. Howell Award of Excellence—the highest award the Navy can bestow upon a reserve judge advocate.
IV. CHARLES BOTT QC, Head of Carmelite Chambers, is one of the UK’s leading practitioners in all subjects relating to criminal and civil fraud. Many years ago Mr. Bott combined his experience as an advocate and a background in civil and commercial law to develop an extensive practice in criminal fraud. He has now appeared in more than 80 serious fraud trials including many of the leading cases of recent years. Mr. Bott has also undertaken a wide range of civil advisory work and litigation (both QBD and Chancery), specializing in the areas of financial regulation, money laundering and asset recovery.
His recent work includes criminal aspects of insider dealing, asset recovery, market manipulation and anti-competitive trading. Mr. Bott has advised banks and other financial institutions and has drafted asset recovery legislation for dependent territories. He has extensive experience in cases of homicide, terrorism, serious violence and drug trafficking and has appeared in two public inquiries. His clients have included News of the World news editor James Weatherup; “HF” acquitted in a prominent terrorist trial; “HB” a doctor acquitted of manslaughter by gross negligence; “PS” acquitted of carbon credit fraud; and “CU” acquitted in a Ukrainian money laundering trial.
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Copyright 2015-2017 Fred L. Abrams