Archives for April, 2015

Day in Court Against Nordea

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The Malaga Mercantile Court yesterday held a hearing on ocassion of a misleading advertising case against Nordea Bank Luxembourg S.A. and its Swiss branch.

An overweight Jesper Hertz, for the defendants, lied to the Court shamelessly. He confirmed that the bank had never offered any tax or fiscal advertising, information or otherwise to clients and that all they did was offer investment advice. Jesper’s dishonest intervention depicted a scenario of deceipt and will be remembered as the worst example of the hypocrisy and underhandedness of today’s bankers.

Nordea’s legal advisor questioned the quality of “advertising” of the promotional literature, stating that it made it clear that such information was not advice, but a mere guidance.

They also referred to the date on the main booklet (2008), arguing that it would have been impossible for claimants to have relied on it.

Finally, they dismissed the information provided to customers as mere investment guidance, arguing that it was the loss of such investments that had prompted the Nordea’s clients to sue the bank, and nothing else.

Claimants were able to prove that Nordea extensive tax advertising was misleading, confusing and inaccurate with the aid of 2¬†Tax Office binding rulings, the expert witness opinion brought in by the claimants (Carlos Jimenez Dengra) and an abscence of any proof to the contrary by Nordea, save for half-hearted attempts to discredit the evidence brought in by the victim’s legal team.

With respect to the booklet date, it was held in Court that previous brochures (2005 and 2006) had inspired the 2008 booklet for identical paragraphs appear on both sets of promotional advertising. It was also held that no where in the advertising did Nordea Bank discuss the product as being an investment proposition but rather, a tax planning tool for the inheritors.

The case is ready for sentencing.

 

 

 

Jyske/Landsbanki Lawyers Helped Former International Monetary Fund Managing Director Rodrigo Rato Evade Taxes

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Lawyers acting for Jyske and Landsbanki banks, Plazas Abogados in Sotogrande, helped former International Monetary Fund (IMF) Rodrigo Rato evade Spanish taxes.

Operating out of their Sotogrande offices, Mr. Domingo Plazas set up a Spanish/Gibraltarian opaque corporate structure to conceal the ultimate beneficiaries. Until a few days ago, Rato’s company was domiciled in the offices of Plazas Abogados, in Sotogrande.

The choice of law firm could not be a coincidence: both Jyske and Landsbanki orchestrated a tax evasion scheme, the Equity Release Scheme, that was sold to hundreds of pensioners by falsely attributing it Inheritance Tax benefits.

The Spanish Tax Office ruled in 2013 that such scheme was illegal.

More reading:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/rodrigo-rato-humiliation-for-eximf-chief-held-as-part-of-tax-fraud-probe-10186160.html

http://www.euronews.com/2015/04/17/spain-s-former-imf-chief-rodrigo-rato-arrested-over-fraud-claims/

 

 

Current Landsbanki (and Jyske Bank) Lawyers’ Offices Raided by Customs and Excise

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Plazas Abogados’ offices in Sotogrande have been raided by 12 Customs and Excise Task Force officers a few hours ago, in connection to the arrest of former Spain’s Vicepresident Rodrigo Rato.

The Spanish Prosecutor ordered members of the Customs and Excise and National Police Forces, with the collaboration of San Roque Court Number 1, to search the offices for any sensitive information as part of a probe into allegations of potential money laundering and embezzlement.

The Spanish Prosecutor accuses Mr. Rato of regularising an unjustified and dubious money flow in 2012.

Plazas Abogados also advises Jyske Bank. 

¬†Judging by events sorrounding her choice of law firms, its been a pretty weekus horribilis for Yvette Hamilius. Then again, she’s never shied away from her bank’s tax evasion practices.

http://politica.elpais.com/politica/2015/04/16/actualidad/1429202807_685875.html 

http://www.20minutos.es/noticia/2434520/0/registran-bufete-abogados-sotogrande-cadiz-marco-investigacion-sobre-rato/

Former Landsbanki Head Lawyer Pleads Guilty of Tax Evasion

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El abogado Emili Cuatrecasas

Emili Cuatrecasas has pleaded guilty to 8 tax-evasion charges and settled with the State Prosecutor: he will serve a 2-year suspended sentence.

Cuatrecasas’ legal opinion was instrumental in the creation of the Landsbanki Equity Release, to the point that the former would refer to them as their cooperators in marketing literature for the Lex-Life Capital Assurance product:

Our product, Lex Life Capital Assurance-Spain,¬†has been developed in cooporation (sic) with the law firm CUATRECASAS (www.cuatrecasas.com), ‚ÄúBest Spanish Firm of the Year 2005, International Law Office‚ÄĚ.

Landsbanki Sacks Cuatrecasas Law Firm

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Following the revelation that the boss of Landsbanki’s legal team¬†in Spain, Emilio Cuatrecasas, had¬†come under fire from the Spanish Tax Office,¬†Yvette Hamilius decided to pull the plug on them and appoint Plazas Abogados, based in Marbella and Sotogrande.

This move comes as a surprise since Plazas Abogados was one of the legal firms that actively participated, in the years 2005-2008, in the perpetration of this widespread scam.

Plazas Abogados have since confirmed that Landsbanki’s product did not aim to avoid IHT, adding that the bank did not offer the Equity Release product to avoid IHT.

Sadly for Plazas, two different lawyers for Cuatrecasas have argued quite the contrary: that the Equity Release was a popular product to minimize IHT and that this was the main reason why they bought into it (sic).

Read¬†Landsbanki’s Torben¬†Bjerregaard explaining all that needs to be known about IHT (translation required): http://www.sydspanien.dk/article.170.html

 

 

Norwegian Claimants Win Equity Release Case Against Danske Bank International S.A.

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ERVA has had access to a ruling from an Alicante-province Court declaring an Equity Release Contract null and void,¬†ordering DANSKE BANK INTERNATIONAL S.A. to remove the mortgage charge over the clients’ property and ordering the bank to¬†assume all investment losses. Conversely, the Court also orders the claimant to return the deposit received, all of it pursuant to article 1303 of the Spanish Civil Code.

The claimants, a Norwegian couple, had attended a seminar where a number of bank representatives, as well as carefully-chosen biased lawyers, had been lined up to promote and sell the tax-avoidance virtues of a bespoke multi-currently mortgage loan.

Anne Leighton, Gustavo Garcia and Oyving Bjornsen, for Danske Bank International S.A, had extolled the advantages of a pioneer financial product that was to be used, primarily, to legally avoid the unassumable inheritance tax they would be hit with on death of either of the clients.

Legal eagle Agnete Dale, at the time working for VOIGT LAWYERS, nodded in agremeent (it is not clear from the Court dispatches that she actually knew what she was nodding about).

The Judge concluded that the multi-currency loan, as well as the financial investments made by DANSKE BANK INTERNATIONAL S.A., was offered to their customers as a means to protect their properties, on death of either owner, by reducing the amount of INHERITANCE TAX payable to the Spanish Tax Office. 

The Court thereby concludes that the objetive of the mortgage loan was not to satisfy the clients’ desire to invest in speculative financial products but to protect their property against Spanish IHT, adding that had the clients known about real bank’s intentions -to invest life savings in sheer speculative investment markets- they would have turned down the proposal.

The ruling can be appealed.

Lawyers acting for the claimants are Benidorm-based (contact details to be provided upon request).

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