Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Global Laundromat

"The legend of Steve Jobs is immortal. There have been countless articles, books and movies made about him and the way he founded and ran Apple. He was such a hard ass, he got fired from his own company in 1985. The establishment people he personally hired and surrounded himself with said they wanted him out. These were not strangers he inherited. How bad did it have to be for that to happen? In 1997 , on the verge of bankruptcy, Apple acquired the company Jobs created and made him CEO once again. Shortly after, products like the iPod, and iPhone started to hit the market. Apple even created a phenomenal customer centric experience through its Apple Stores unlike any consumers had experienced before (and some say since). Jobs certainly goes down as one of the great disruptors of our time, but going through it during its formative years was considered "hell on earth."

~ Bathroom LinkedIn by Bob Lyons

rump Honeymoon Is Over: Markets Are Now Scared His Promises Won’t Come True NBC

CNN just dropped a bombshell report about President Donald Trump’s potential ties to Russia:
The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign, US officials told CNN.

Report: FBI evidence suggests Trump associates and Russians may have coordinated to sink Clinton

A lawyer representing the family of a whistle blower who died in a Russian prison after uncovering a multi-million-pound fraud was in hospital on Wednesday after falling from a high window.  
How Tax Drives Mergers  

UBS faces French trial in long-running tax case

New tax measure takes aim at Offshore Trusts  

British banks handled vast sums of laundered Russian money  

Russian money and the 'Global Laundromat': what banks said   

Russia accused of hindering UK money laundering investigations   

Dutch banks accused of aiding Russian money laundering scheme   

The Global Laundromat: how did it work and who benefited?   

British banks including HSBC, RBS, Barclays and Coutts 'processed £600million in multi-billion pound Russian money-laundering scam'  

Stolen Russian billions ended up in EU states  

Towards an Understanding of the Finance Curse: Marx.s Theory of Productive and Unproductive Labour   

Panama Papers have helped fuel 'a more aggressive CRA'

Royal Bank closes 40 accounts following internal Panama Papers ...

Canada: The Panama Papers: Canadian Bank Begins Closing ..

Real estate agents warn of property money laundering

Article on Filings in Coinbase John Doe Summons Case 

I recently reported on the IRS John Doe Summons for bitcoin records of Coinbase.  IRS seeks John Doe Summons to Bitcoin Firm (Federal Tax Crimes Blog 11/23/16; 11/30/16), here.  That matter is still churning as the parties spar over whether and how Coinbase should comply.  Part of the sparring undoubtedly involves negotiations between the IRS and Coinbase, but some of the sparring is on the public record in court.  Fortune has this article about a recent filing:  Jeff John Roberts, Only 802 People Told the IRS About Bitcoin - Lawsuit (Fortune 8/19/17), here.

The principal feature of the Fortune article is a new filing of an IRS affidavit in the court case.  
The filing is styled:  Declaration of David Utzke in Support of Petition to Enforce Internal 
Revenue Summons.  The article links the affidavit on the Scribd website here.

Reuters has this report:  Joshua Franklin and Maya Nikolaeva, UBS faces French trial in long-running tax case (Reuters 3/20/17), here.  Excerpts:

UBS (UBSG.S) and its French subsidiary face trial in France after a long-running investigation into allegations that the Swiss bank helped wealthy clients avoid taxes. 

 French magistrates have ordered that UBS stand trial on charges of aggravated tax fraud and money laundering as well as illegally offering related services, a judicial source said. 
Magistrates were expected this week to order a trial after negotiations failed to produce a settlement in the long-running probe into allegations UBS helped clients avoid taxes, Reuters reported on Sunday. 
French newspaper JDD said UBS had rejected a 1.1 billion euro ($1.18 billion) settlement proposed by prosecutors. 

The JDD quoted Markus Diethelm, UBS's group general counsel, as saying a 1.1 billion euro payment was "unthinkable" and out of line with similar settlements reached in other countries.
The report also offers UBS's response, the the standard one for the guilty and the innocent to this type development:
"We will now have the possibility to respond in detail in a court of law," UBS said in an emailed statement on Monday. "UBS has made clear that the bank disagrees with 
the allegations, assumptions and legal interpretations being made."
The report offers the following related development:French authorities are also investigating HSBC Holdings (HSBA.L) and last year a source familiar with the matter said the country's financial prosecutor asked for a trial of Europe's biggest bank and its Swiss private banking unit over allegations it helped customers dodge taxes in 2006-2007.

Victorian MP expenses scandal final report released


London attack: Police officer Keith Palmer among five dead as terror strikes in the heart of Westminster
Malcolm Turnbull pays tribute to 'mother of parliaments' after terrorist attack – politics live

Company 'digitally transforming' Centrelink also led $800 million Tax Office Bungle