Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Offshore abuses

Posted by Charles II on November 25, 2012

Following up on a previous post regarding an effort to clamp down on tax evasion….

The presidential campaign might have failed to address poverty and global warming. But it did bring forward one important issue: the use of offshore shell companies to evade taxes and commit other crimes. James Ball of The Guardian has the interesting tale of a woman who is the titular head of 1200 companies:

[Mrs.] Petre-Mears does not appear to need to know much about the people for whom she passes resolutions, allots shares and helps set up bank accounts. All she has to do is sign her name.

Those names appear on activities ranging from Russian luxury property purchases, to porn and casino sites. Sometimes, such nominees even act as shareholders as well as directors.

The BBC has done a parallel investigation:

Secret filming by the BBC as part of a joint investigation with the Guardian newspaper and the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists identified a number of corporate service providers – firms that specialise in setting up companies both in the UK and abroad – willing to facilitate tax evasion and turn a blind eye to criminal activity.

Maybe US media will discover a story someday, too. There’s enough tax evasion to substantially close the deficit without throwing a single granny into the snow.

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