by Jerry Alatalo
ax evasion whistleblower Herve Falcioni produced evidence to the French government in 2008 containing the names of thousands of moneyed people from HSBC computers. Of those names, around 6,800 were of residents of Britain. In the seven years since, only one of those thousands has faced prosecution by British tax authorities. That is because Britain is a world “leader” in facilitating tax evasion, accounting for around 50% of the approximate 70-80 tax haven jurisdictions globally.
So, while the United States and European countries maintain crippling sanctions against Iran, Russia, Venezuela and other geopolitically-independent nations, Britain and the other 35-40 tax havens around the planet go on with their merry, massive tax-evading ways. So, all the remaining 6,799 Brits on the list of tax evaders need to do is wait until the statute of limitations runs out, with help from British government officials who have sat on their hands.
HSBC is the world’s second largest bank, based in Britain, and currently experiencing one more in a long line of scandals associated with illegal actions that run the gamut of crimes possible for large banks to commit. The firm supplies training manuals to its staff on how to violate U.S. tax laws for its wealthy clients and get away with it. For a period of ten years HSBC laundered illicit money for a Mexican drug cartel in the range of a billion dollars. The drug cartel has murdered more people than ISIS.
Those who follow non-prosecution of white-collar criminals in the financial industry remember U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s statements to Congress where he made a connection between prosecuting and jailing criminal banking executives to the consequences of doing so. Putting white-collar criminals behind bars would “damage the economy”, according to Mr. Holder. Worth noting is that Mr. Holder’s successor, Loretta Lynch, was the prosecutor in charge of the HSBC Mexican drug-money laundering case, and that no HSBC official went to jail.
Returning to the global tax evasion industry, facilitated by the world’s largest accounting and legal firms for decades simultaneously “in secret” while every aware politician knew about it, researchers have shown that more tax evasion “whistleblowers” have become prosecuted than actual tax evaders themselves. In the world’s tax evasion capitol of Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron could easily move for transparency in the Cayman Islands, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands and the remaining crown tax haven jurisdictions, but after seven years since the first massive revelations of their existence hit the international press he has done zero but talk before the media about how wrong tax evasion is.
While low-level criminals languish in prisons, many for drug-related crimes which harmed only themselves, white-collar criminals who’ve inflicted massive harm to the people and economies of their nations and nations around the planet walk the streets as free men and women. Unless those white-collar, “pinstripe mafia” members become prosecuted and jailed for their clearly repetitive criminal actions, a sufficient deterrent effect will not become manifested, and nations around the Earth will continue to lose an estimated combined trillion dollars every year to tax evasion.
Perhaps British Prime Minister David Cameron can meet with Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and the Rothschild clan to come up with real solutions that offer precisely that deterrent.
For more information visit the Tax Justice Network’s website: www.taxjustice.net