Astonishing brutality and corruption in Russia and the laundering of criminal proceeds through Switzerland, the British Virgin Islands, Dubai and Cyprus will be analyzed at the upcoming OffshoreAlert Conference.
After Moscow-based tax attorney Sergei Magnitsky blew the whistle on a $230 million tax fraud in which his client, UK-based investment advisory firm Hermitage Capital Management, was one of the victims, he was taken into custody by the officials he accused and held without bail in primitive and deadly conditions until he died in his cell in 2009.
The OffshoreAlert Conference will look at evidence of corruption by the Russian judiciary, politicians, police, tax officials, bankers and the mafia, analyze the use of offshore banks and structures to assist them, including the alleged use of a company managed by BVI-based Commonwealth Trust Limited and accounts at Credit Suisse, and look at what is being done to hold participants accountable – both onshore and offshore.
A session entitled 'Russia Exposed: The Sergei Magnitsky Affair' will be presented by Jamison Firestone, Managing Partner of Sergei's employer, Firestone Duncan, a Moscow-based provider of legal, tax, accounting and audit services.
"Russia is far more corrupt and criminal than anyone imagined," said Mr. Firestone. "Investing there by foreign companies is a bit like Russian roulette. Officials are in business to make money, often with organized criminals. Police and officials can do what they want and there is usually no defense because everyone is in on the game."
Mr. Firestone's session will include looking at:
- How criminal proceeds were laundered and where the offshore compliance system failed;
- How Austrian banking group Raiffeisenbank opened correspondent accounts for a Russian bank owned by a convicted criminal;
- Credit Suisse failing to detect that its client was the husband of a Russian tax official and that funds were clearly being laundered through its accounts; and
- Credit Suisse maintaining the accounts even after the companies were no longer in good standing.
The 10th Annual OffshoreAlert Conference will take place on April 29 to May 1, 2012 at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach in Miami Beach, Florida.
Speakers include offshore judges, international legal and tax experts, and investigators of serious financial crime, including senior personnel from the Internal Revenue Services, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission in the United States.
Speakers from the IRS include those who are at the forefront of the ongoing investigation into Swiss banks for their alleged involvement in helping U. S. taxpayers commit tax evasion.