Friday, February 15, 2008

Stimulus Plan Humor

Have a nice weekend. Allen ein schönes Wochenende

Hat tip to Clay Jones
Thanks to Matt Davies

Thanks to Mike Keefe

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


Recession - Is this the big one? Al Rosen, forensic accountant, examines a looming economic crisis

12:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With one bigwig already toppled for tax evasion and hundreds more likely waiting their turn, all roads lead to the tiny principality of Liechtenstein. According to SPIEGEL sources, Germany's largest post-war economic scandal started with a single intelligence source.

It is rapidly becoming one of the largest economic scandals ever in Germany's post-World War II history. As many as 900 wealthy Germans -- many of them well-known -- might be involved. Berlin may have been shorted up to 4 billion euros in taxes. And the accusatory finger is pointing increasingly at what many feel is rampant greed among of many of Germany's top earners -- and at a handful of banks and foundations in the tiny principality of Liechtenstein that help the affluent hide their assets.

The first to fall was Deutsche Post CEO Klaus Zumwinkel. He resigned on Friday after raids on his home and office by officials looking for evidence of massive tax invasion. But with officials planning to launch up to 125 additional tax evasion investigations next week, it is likely that Zumwinkel will soon have to share headline space.

The growing investigation has its roots in information handed to tax investigators by Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND). Last week, the BND insisted it had been little more than a messenger, but according to SPIEGEL sources, its involvement is more reminiscent of a Tom Clancy novel than of a run-of-the-mill operation.

In 2006, a man approached the BND offering agents a DVD full of information detailing foreign investments and following capital flows from Germany into those investments. In addition, the source claimed to have particulars pertaining to a number of accounts held by the LGT Group, a bank managed by the principality of Liechtenstein. But he was charging a hefty price for the DVD.

BND agents moved slowly. Their source, whose identity has not been made public, offered up samples from his data for German officials to test. And they were satisfied with the information's trustworthiness. In the end, the source was wired 5 million euros for the data disk, and he also requested personal protection out of fear for his life. The payment was made with the knowledge of German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück.

While hundreds of its customers may be compromised by the information now in the hands of eager German investigators, the bank is doing its best to assure its clients that the DVD contained details stolen from LGT Trust Ltd, a part of the LTD Group located in Vaduz, Liechtenstein six years ago. That case was closed in 2003 after the perpetrator was convicted. The data, the bank says, was "illegally passed on." The bank claims that "there is no indication that customer information has been stolen since 2002."

But according to SPIEGEL sources, German investigators are in possession of bank data on Liechtenstein-based tax evasion that goes all the way through the end of 2005. They also have account information from the Liechtensteinische Landesbank (LLB) which may reveal tax evasion. The LLB announced at the beginning of the week that it too had been the victim of a major data theft. According to SPIEGEL sources, that data too is still in circulation.

Regardless of how the data landed on the desks of German tax investigators, the growing scandal has caused outrage across the country and in the capital. German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday once again reminded German economic leaders that they carry a huge responsibility. "Responsible behavior from companies is an elementary prerequisite for a functioning socially-responsible market economy," she said. Minister of the Economy Michael Glos, a conservative like Merkel, told the Sunday tabloid Bild am Sonntag that German managers have to "become aware that they are role models for society." Otherwise, he said, "faith in our market economy will be lost."

Others were a bit more pointed. Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, from Merkel's Christian Democrats, told SPIEGEL "I have zero understanding for this kind of greed. Uncontrolled capitalism, greed and massive losses on speculative investments -- that is a combination that makes people furious." Steinbrück, the Social Democratic Finance Minister, told the online version of the weekly Die Zeit: "It is the elites who are threatening to cause the system to collapse."

On Monday, the SPD plans to pass a resolution looking at whether prison sentences for tax evasion should be lengthened. The party accuses elites in Germany of ignoring the responsibility they have for the common good. "The money that perpetrators keep from the community short-changes education, security and infrastructure," the draft document reads.

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make Big Profits Illegally (and Maybe Keep Them, Too)
Published: February 15, 2008
In a strange anomaly to American securities laws, it is not clear that someone who illegally obtained insider information has broken the law by trading on that information.

"On Oct. 17, 2007, someone hacked into a computer system that had information on an earnings announcement to be made by IMS Health a few hours later. Minutes after the breach of computer security, Mr. Dorozhko invested $41,671 in put options that would expire worthless three days later unless IMS shares plunged before that. The next morning the share price did plunge, and Mr. Dorozhko made his money by selling the puts. 'Dorozhko's alleged "stealing and trading" or "hacking and trading" does not amount to a violation' of securities laws, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald of United States District Court ruled last month. Although he may have broken laws by stealing the information, the judge concluded, 'Dorozhko did not breach any fiduciary or similar duty "in connection with" the purchase or sale of a security.' She ordered the S.E.C. to let him have his profits."

4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's interesting that their are huge tax evasion scandals appearing in England, Germany, and now Switzerland:

Bank Julius Baer vs. Wikileaks
From Wikileaks
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The largest Swiss bank specializing in hiding the assets of the ultra-rich, Bank Julius Baer, says it will file federal US proceedings against the transparency group Wikileaks by Friday.

Over the last two weeks, Wikileaks has released several hundred documents from a Swiss banking whistleblower purportedly showing offshore tax evasion and money laundering by extremely wealthy and in some cases, politically sensitive, clients from the US, Europe, China and Peru.

Part of the data was leaked to US and German tax authorities in 2005 and the Wall Street Journal ran an article on the act of leaking but not those mentioned in the material. The detail and specific allegations have previously been unavailable to the public.

The bank concerned, Julius Baer (BJB), which specializes in asset hiding, has briefed Hollywood media lawyers Lavely and Singer, who like to describe themselves as "all-around bad cop for stars from Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger to Jim Carrey and Celine Dion.".

Strangely, Lavely and Singer have refused to put in writing either the name of their client or name of the documents concerned.

However in a telephone call yesterday between Wikileaks' Californian counsel Julie Turner [editor: Julie Turner was Wikileaks pre-litigation lawyer for this matter. Don't send her material for Wikileaks in general] and Lavely and Singer's Evan Spiegel, L&S admitted their client was BJB and claimed that the whistleblower concerned was the former deputy director of the Cayman Islands office, Rudolf Elmer.

Mr. Elmer, who has since returned to Zurich, took a December 2007 anti-stalking case against BJB in an attempt to prevent BJB's private detectives following him. L&S claims that it has its own proceedings against the whistleblower scheduled for hearing this month. L&S made several other allegations against Mr. Elmer to Wikileaks' counsel, however L&S have not put these in writing.

The Swiss daily, Weltwoche, in its 2005 article, "The Leak in Paradise", confirmed the veracity of several of the files with two BJB Cayman Islands office employees.

Although Wikileaks can not say that the files are identical to those seen by the Swiss paper, in light of BJB's threatened legal attack on Wikileaks over documents that:

..constitute violation of trade secrets, conversion and stolen documents by former employee in violation of a written confidentiality agreement and copyright infringement, among other wrongful and tortuous conduct.

Wikileaks asks that the documents and BJB's practices of asset hiding be inspected and reminds BJB that its failure to openly respond to the allegations against it continues to draw scrutiny of the public and regulators (to whom the material has been forwarded) alike.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Tarra Slovan said...

I believe than Lavely and Singer uses fake stalking charges to stop their clients from being exposed. There is a very strange case involving a gruesome comedian named Tig Notaro and a whole conspiracy that evolved from Lavely and Singer's participaton. This in Los Angeles and this might be the tiny case that takes down the miserable Lavely and Singer.

11:08 AM  
Blogger whomever runs the particular blog said...

Some investigative reporter will find the story of a life time

if they look up this case 8CA80541
in the criminal courts building on Temple street in los angeles.

They should look at all courtcases involving Mathilde Notaro and they will see a very compelling and newsworthy story of corruption in the los angeles courts.

12:58 PM  
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11:09 PM  

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