Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tax Havens: Feeble excuses from UBS client

Criminals provide all manner of reasons for their behaviour, and tax evaders are amongst the most deluded in this respect. The latest feeble excuse comes from American watchmaker and retailer, Jack Barouh, who concocted a plan with account managers from Swiss bank UBS to salt millions from his watch business into Switzerland and Hong Kong, routing the funds via a string of sham companies in British Virgin Islands, Panama and Hong Kong.

Barouh (65), who did a plea bargain with the court, requested leniency on the grounds that his parents, both Jewish, brought him up in a culture of "hide and hoard". As a result of this upbringing, according to his lawyers, Barouh came "to compulsively and almost obsessively, want to establish a secret nest egg". The special pleading seems to have helped since the 10-month prison term imposed by the Miami court was half the usual length for similar cases.

Needless to say, real victims of repression had little time for Barouh's feeble excuse.
"Holocaust survivors and their families reject the demeaning assertion that 'survival behavior' learned from the Holocaust could justify illegal evasion of taxes," said one organisation representing U.S. survivors of the holocaust.


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