The February 6th “Asset Search News Roundup” concentrates on the possible abuse of attorney trust accounts:

  • Three UBS Clients Accused of Hiding Offshore Money From IRS” outlines the suspected tax fraud case against ex-San Diego tax attorney Christopher M. Rusch and Phoenix-area businessmen Stephen M. Kerr and Michael Quiel.  The three are accused of secreting assets via business entities and foreign bank accounts in multiple jurisdictions, including: Switzerland, Panama, St. Kitts and Nevis.  Their December 8, 2011 indictment asserts at paragraph “26”, that Mr. Rusch caused falsified Form A’s to be submitted to Swiss banks.  As “Customer Identification At UBS AG And Some Other Banks” indicates, Swiss banks detect the true beneficial owners of bank accounts by requiring bank customers to execute Form A’s.  Paragraphs 30, 31, 68, 72 & 74  of the indictment meanwhile, indicate that Mr. Rusch could have used his attorney trust account to transfer funds to and from secret Swiss bank accounts.
  • The following typology from the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units also mentions an attorney trust account.  It fundamentally demonstrates the utilization of an attorney trust account as a laundering link, to wash monies placed in a money laundering circuit:

 Typology / Case# 06078, Courtesy of The Egmont Group

Copyright 2012 Fred L. Abrams