William Byrnes

The House Financial Services Committee on Monday released a staff report of its investigation into the U.S. Department of Justice’s decision not to prosecute HSBC or any of its executives or employees for serious violations of U.S. anti-money laundering laws and related offenses.

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The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has announced an amnesty of sort – a threat and upfront warnings: we do know about you, best you come forward before we make the tax audit into your affairs known.

On July 9th, 2015, SARS issued a press release, which can be read in more detail on:

http://www.sars.gov.za/Media/MediaReleases/Pages/9-July-2015 – – – South-Africans-with-accounts-and-investments-in-foreign-tax-jurisdictions.aspx

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), based information obtained by French newspaper Le Monde, ranked South Africa number 31 among the countries with the largest amount of dollars ($2.3blion) in the so-called leaked Swiss Read More

Another former UBS client has bit the dust. The Department of Justice recently announced that Gregg A. Kaminsky, an internet entrepreneur who served as CEO of Circlenet LLC, based in Atlanta, Georgia was sentenced for willfully failing to file a Foreign Bank Account Report. Unlike Raoul Weil and a few others who have held the government to its burden, Mr. Kaminsky chose not to fight, but instead to lay down his sword and enter a guilty plea.

Between 2000 and 2009, Mr. Kaminsky owned and controlled a foreign bank account with Union Bank of Switzerland AG (“UBS”), Switzerland’s largest bank and one of the largest wealth managers in the world. By 2006, Mr. Kaminsky’s UBS account reached a high watermark amount of roughly $1.1 million. During this time, Mr. Kaminsky Read More

The threat of U.S. prosecution looms over HSBC Holdings PLC like the sword of Damocles after a groundbreaking report revealed that it helped clients hide cash from various tax authorities. These reports cast HSBC, HSBC’s Holding’s parent bank, in an unsavory light and is the latest round of negative publicity to besmirch the British bank’s reputation. As such, it sent shockwaves through the foundation of HSBC.

The basis for these reports are documents provided by Herve Falciani, a former employee of HSBC.

These documents reveal how mid-level HSBC bankers assisted European clients do an end-run around a European Union tax on bank deposits. Specifically, the clients were Read More

Last weekend, media reports cast an unflattering light on HSBC’s continued defiance to “straighten up and fly right” when it comes to assisting its foreign clients hide their accounts from taxing authorities in their home countries. The list of clients includes some you would least expect: global politicians, rock stars, arms dealers, and potential terrorists. Not surprisingly, this did not sit too well with the IRS.

According to a report from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, HSBC’s Swiss private banking division was complicit in assisting its foreign clients to “dodge” tax authorities in their home countries. Specifically, they were all too willing to gave them tips on how to evade paying European Union taxes on their bank accounts. Read More

whistle blowWe first posted Whistleblower Exposes Massive Offshore Corruption!  On May 6, 2013 where the enormous value of whistleblowers has once again been demonstrated with the release of an investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists into off-shore holdings of people and companies in more than 170 countries and territories hiding trillions of dollars in income and assets

The anonymous whistleblower sent to the ICIJ 2.5 million electronic files containing what the organization calls “the biggest stockpile of inside information about the offshore system ever obtained by a media organization.”

Now we have come to discover another whistleblower, an HSBC employee who passed data  a former  to French authorities about the bank’s Swiss arm has supplied a list of nearly 3,000 secret accounts belonging to French residents or entities, hiding up to $5 billion (CHF4.8 billion) in undeclared assets.

The figure was revealed on Wednesday July 10, 2013, in a French parliamentary report. The report also described a variety of legal, technical, diplomatic and procedural issues that began almost as soon as the French tax authorities received five DVDs of data.

The report, explaining why it had taken so long to act on the data, said that there were internal obstacles over the different remits of the tax authorities and the prosecutor’s office, which in 2010 transferred responsibility for the case from the Mediterranean city of Nice to Paris. Read More