Prosecutors are trying to determine what role financial professionals in Hong Kong play in tax evasion, according to people familiar with the matter. They are examining how much taxable money was moved to the former British colony that returned to China in 1997, whether accounts were based there in name only and what banks were involved, the people said.The push follows the government’s success in penetrating Swiss bank secrecy and learning from insiders how UBS AG helped Americans evade taxes. UBS, the largest Swiss bank by assets, avoided prosecution by agreeing in February to pay $780 million and disclose account data on 250 clients. In August, it agreed to supply information on another 4,450.
The government has made it very clear that they are interested in other secrecy jurisdictions, especially Hong Kong & Singapore.
The UBS clients who used Hong Kong & Singapore corporations told prosecutors how their bankers and lawyers helped them set up offshore corporations so their assets would be hidden in accounts that didn’t bear their names, court records show. Read more