Swirling around in the media and online is a leak of financial documents called The Paradise Papers. Within the terabits of information lies the documented offshore accounts of politicians, celebrities, multinational corporations and even royalty. There is something else buried in the data according to The Gateway—money laundering and tax evasion.
The Trail of Money
An offshore account lets the owner avoid taxes on rather large sums of money. People with the amount of money to procure an offshore account usually use them to store their money in shell corporations or bank accounts in countries where the tax laws are minimal.
The Paradise Papers highlight, Apple, who is storing upward of $500 billion in offshore accounts; the Queen of England’s private estate; one of President Donald Trump’s top administrative officials and many more. It appears the world’s richest people are regularly using the practice of these accounts—some in less than legal fashion.
Politics as Usual?
The use of the accounts highlighted in the Paradise Papers is particular alarming when it comes to big corporations, government officials, and politicians. It is not legally required to disclose what is kept in foreign accounts, so how can it be properly taxed? How can shareholders know the real value of a company?
This practice stops the government or any private company from tracking the money. Some may find all of this similar to the plotline of “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Where these accounts are concerned, money can go undetected and backchannel funding can thrive.
More to Learn
What’s come from the leaked of the Paradise Papers so far may just be the tip of the iceberg. The documents contained 15 terabytes of data and millions of pages of taxes documents, emails, and corporate forms. The information was stolen by security specialists that leaked it to the press in Germany. Journalists all over the world are still combing through the documents.
A Larger Issue
The “real story” is that none of the people named in the papers will face any real repercussions. After all, offshore accounts aren’t necessary illegal—just a bit shady. Many, like Senator Bernie Sanders, are using the documents to point to the larger problem of income inequality. According to him, the paradise papers prove the rich are not paying their share of taxes like the middle class and poor. They can afford tax havens, while the rest of society might be hounded by the IRS over comparatively small sums of money.
To learn more about current whistleblower news and how to proceed with information on financial fraud, contact Jeffrey Newman Law today!