Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hans-Adams II and the cloak of secrecy


The US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations is scheduled to hold a hearing today which will, in their rather restrained language,

"examine how financial institutions located in offshore tax havens, including Liechtenstein and Switzerland, may be engaged in banking practices that could facilitate, and in some instances have resulted in, tax evasion and other misconduct by U.S. clients."

This comes amid an ongoing scandal concerning the Swiss bank UBS under investigation for helping wealthy US citizens evade taxes. TJN's John Christensen was on ABC News on U.S. television last night talking about the affair, as well as the lawyer Jack Blum, who is a Senior Adviser to TJN.

The Financial Times has an advance copy of a 100-page report saying the Subcommittee will accuse UBS and Liechtenstein’s LGT Group, owned by Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein (you should refer to him as Johannes Adam Ferdinand Alois Josef Maria Marko d'Aviano Pius von und zu Liechtenstein, styled HSH The Sovereign Prince of Liechtenstein: see the picture) of using the “cloak of bank secrecy laws” to help American clients evade billions of dollars in taxes. The report estimates the US Treasury loses $100bn (€63bn) annually to offshore tax abuses.

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