The Intermediaries of Offshore
Cross border illicit financial flows have been encouraged and facilitated by intermediaries. These include
- Tax Advisers: tax attorneys and law firms, accountants, auditing firms, and other tax advisers.
- Corporate Service Providers: service providers that set up, organise and/or administer corporations, limited liability companies, trusts and partnerships in low tax / no tax jurisdictions and other “privileged fiscal” jurisdictions” - or, to use the more popular terms, tax havens (or secrecy jurisdictions.)
- Financial Institutions: commercial banks, investment banks, brokerage firms, trust companies and other financial institutions.
The purpose of the Tax Justice Network’s Intermediaries Project is to gather and publicise information about the role of Intermediaries in encouraging and facilitating cross-border illicit financial flows, and to provide suggestions as to how the problems might be tackled.
Dec 11, 2012 - Senior HSBC bankers should face jail for the bank’s role in laundering drugs money; fining the bank won’t work. Global Witness
Dec 11, 2012 - Britain could end these tax scams by hitting the big four - Guardian
Dec 8, 2012 - Despite evidence of fraudulent schemes, no firm has ever been disciplined by any professional accountancy body - Prem Sikka
July 2012 - Explaining capital flight: the role of intermediaries.
Sept 21, 2011 - The Pin-stripe Mafia: How Accounting Firms Destroy Societies, Association for Accountancy and Business Affairs
April 3, 2011 - How US' Wachovia bank laundered billions from Mexico's murderous drug gangs - Observer.
Aug 2010 - New York State Bar Association determination on whether it is acceptable to assist foreign illegal or fraudulent activities - TJN blog.
Dec 17, 2008 - Three individuals convicted in KPMG tax shelter case - NY Times.
Jan 2004 - U.S. Senator Carl Levin: "Our investigation revealed a culture of deception inside KPMG's tax practice."
Aug 2010 - Where 4 Art Thou? A geographic study of the Big 4 firms of accountants
March 2009 - Undue Diligence: How Banks do business with corrupt regimes - Global Witness.
Sept 2007 - TJN recommendations, including on intermediaries - TJN
2005 - The Blood Bankers: Tales from the Global Underground Economy, James S. Henry. A forensic investigation into the world of offshore banking, with particular (but not exclusive) focus on Latin America.
July 2004 - Money laundering and foreign corruption: the case of Riggs Bank. US Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.