Covered this week is news about a former small-town Florida sheriff who pleaded guilty to hiding illicit assets / stolen public monies. The fact that tax authorities from across the globe are working together to uncover those concealing assets in abusive offshore tax avoidance schemes, is also discussed.
- My May 4 "Asset Search News Roundup" mentioned that Florida Sheriff Charlie Morris had been accused of a fictitious bonus scheme. A supporting affidavit filed in U.S.A. v. Morris, et. al., U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Docket No: 3:09-mj-000-30-EMT-1, basically claimed that Mr. Morris had hidden stolen public monies by laundering them through nominees. As "Okaloosa Sheriff faces up to 85 years in prison, $1.75 million in fines" and "Suspended Panhandle sheriff pleads guilty to fraud" reported last month, Mr. Morris pleaded guilty to money laundering and other charges.
- Some tax authorities fight abusive offshore tax avoidance schemes by sharing information through the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ("OECD"). A May 29, 2009 press release confirms for example, that tax authorities throughout the world are cooperating with each other to "…. focus on banks, wealthy individuals and offshore activities". The OECD generally promotes the use of Tax Information Exchange Agreements as a countermeasure against tax fraud. The OECD had also previously disseminated a list of 1400 suspected tax cheats who had maintained offshore bank accounts in Liechtenstein.
Copyright 2009 Fred L. Abrams