We have just recently learnt of a whistleblower that got a $104 million payout for providing insider information on a scheme

run by UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank, that was devised to help rich Americans evade taxes. The US authorities, with their legendary efficiency when dealing with attacks on their country, dealt with the matter promptly.   If one reads this formidable piece of legal work we can only marvel at the efficiency displayed by the IRS and the SEC against a bank that was accused, principally, of facilitating tax evasion by U.S. citizens.

Now if one is acquainted with the Spanish Equity Release Fraud, sold under different denominations but nothing short of a scheme devised by a number of Danish and UK banks, in collaboration with a selection of co-conspirators (unregulated unqualified IFAs) operating illegally in Spain, to cheat British expats on the main, as well as the Spanish Tax Office, we can draw very interesting parallelisms between both.

Here are some of the finding of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS):

“…The United States charges that UBS, through certain private bankers and managers in the US cross-border-business, participated in a scheme to defraud the US and its agency, the IRS, by actively assisting or otherwise facilitating a number of U S individual taxpayers in establishing accounts at UBS in a manner designed to conceal beneficial owners…

“…It was further part of the conspiracy that Managers, Desk Heads and Bankers assisted US clients in preparing IRS forms that falsely and fraudulently stated that nominee offshore structures, and not the US clients, were the beneficial owners of offshore bank and financial accounts maintained in foreign countries, including accounts in Switzerland and the UBS.

“…UBS did not generally refrain from conducting banking operations within the United States.  UBS Swiss bankers targeted U.S. clients, traveled across the country in search of wealthy individuals, and aggressively marketed their services to U.S. taxpayers who might otherwise never have opened Swiss accounts.  UBS practices resulted in its U.S. clients maintaining undeclared Swiss accounts that collectively held billions of dollars in assets that were not disclosed to the IRS.

The Government recognizes that UBS has previously announced that it will exit the United States cross-border business…

And here are examples of what some banks did, mirroring UBS’ awful behaviour:

Sydbank (Schweiz) ran an unauthorized office in Fuengirola wherefrom clients were contacted. After it was closed down, the managers, namely Mads S. Petersen, would travel to Spain to sign up new British customers, registering mortgage loans, in cooperation with Nykredit A/S, against their Spanish properties, after which Sydbank would destine the proceeds o to Belize-registered companies, whose ultimate beneficiaries were the real owners of the properties in Spain.

Danske Bank Luxembourg Branch, led by Morten Runo Waaben, John Lundskov Larsen and others are currently indicted in a criminal case for defrauding a British expat by falsely representing an illegal tax evasion scheme as a legal tax optimization tool, consisting in mortgaging a home to reduce the perceived value of it with a view to consequently file a reduced wealth and inheritance tax return. Their website has eliminated any trace of tax evasion propositions.

Nordea Bank Luxembourg branch, led by Jesper Hertz, Anders Bergmann and Michel Woidemann, all indicted in a criminal case for defrauding a British couple by providing them with fraudulent advertising, detailed their tax evasion plan in several brochures that minutely explained the processes employed by their company to reduce or eliminate Spanish Wealth Tax and Inheritance Taxes.  A brazen Nordea even reflects on the risks of the Spanish Tax man challenging the scheme…Such brochures were later withdrawn from public circulation.

Sparekassen Lolland (former Finansbanken) executives, namely Michael Beck Christensen and Pernille Bering , would travel  to Spain, from Denmark, to meet their clients, for the first and only time the day before granting artificial mortgage loans worth up to €3m to unsophisticated investors and investing the funds away from the Spanish Tax Office.

Claire Whittet from NM Rothschild & Sons, who have repeatedly declared that they were only the lender, in spite of brochures like the NMR Dispatch Spring2005 where it is clear they were also providing financial advice, has been commissioned to travel to Spain to meet with disgruntled clients, all of whom face losing their homes after signing up a fraudulent product that was sold by Mark Countach and Steve Dewsnip as follows:

“…Far too many expatriates find out the hard way that inheritance tax (IHT) does not work the same way in Spain…”…the answer is to minimize the amount of assets that are exposed to this…the extreme rate of Spanish IHT is 81.60%…”…a mortgage is a very effective way of reducing the total value of your Spanish estate to IHT…”

And also: …A Non-Tax Resident, owning a Spanish property, would legally register a charge against the property and invest the proceeds of the loan into the Capital Plus Protected Fund Euro Series…Monies Invested would stay out of Spain…legally no need to declare investment to Spanish Tax authorities”

Peter Rose, Managing Director for NM Rothschild & Sons, had no qualms in affirming that “…when buying property in Spain, you should make sure that you don’t get burnt by unexpected tax consequences…” To this effect, he develops a textbook tax evasion proposition that talks about “…the dream, the nightmare and the antidote“, the latter being the core sales pitch for the CreditSelect 4 Series product.

They ALL now deny liability…but brochures that remain buried in old files held by their victims are testament to the wrongdoing and of course, www.waybackmachine.org will grass them all up if they had compromising online brochures.