The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has disseminated a list with about 1400 suspected tax cheats on it, all of whom maintained offshore bank accounts through Liechtenstein’s LGT Group.  As the CNBC article “Europe Tax Evasion Probe Going Global” mentioned, an LGT employee stole the list in 2002 and eventually sold it to Germany’s foreign intelligence agency.

“Europe Tax Evasion Probe Going Global” also indicates that the 1400 on the list may have hidden assets and / or income from the domestic tax authorities of Germany, the U.S., Britain, Australia, Italy, France, Sweden, Canada and others.  Although LGT’s February 24, 2008 press release, refuted the idea that all 1400 on the list were tax cheats, some of them may soon find themselves indicted for tax fraud in the U.S.  This could be true because the IRS announced in its February 26, 2008 press release, that it was “initiating enforcement action involving more than 100 U.S. taxpayers” on the list.

Last week a national newspaper telephoned me about the list of 1400 suspected tax cheats.  The newspaper wondered if it could retain me to somehow acquire a copy of the list.  Although I was unable to assist the newspaper, I contacted “Roger”, the former intelligence officer mentioned in my post “Following The Money Trail In Zürich”.

“I have no interest in helping reporters, but if you want, maybe I could make a few calls”, Roger said during our conversation about the list.  When I told Roger that as many as 600 on the list may have been Germans, he added:  “Because the German border is next to Liechtenstein, people would sometimes try to smuggle cash across it in the trunks of their cars.  Once in Liechtenstein, a suitcase full of cash could easily be deposited.  That’s one reason Liechtenstein was a haven for hiding organized crime monies.  Liechtenstein has been the back pocket of Germany for years.”

(Edited June 1, 2009)

Copyright Fred L. Abrams 2008