Daily news, documents and intelligence about Offshore Financial Centers and those who conduct business in them that you will not find anywhere else.

Binary Options Update – What to expect in 2018

The Exportation of the Binary Options Boiler Room Operations:    As 2017 draws to a close, so does the legal grey area in which binary options scams were used to operating. The decision by Israel’s parliament to outlaw binary options come January 2018 is having an affect already as the people behind the fraud  are shutting up shop. So, this means that the law is effective and it’s the beginning of the end for unregulated binary options platforms scamming innocent people? No, unfortunately not. Instead, what we are seeing is an exodus of the operation; opening...

What Goes Around, Comes Around

It is ironic that the UK government is wont to criticise locations such as the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and the Caymans for their systems of taxation, and as offshore hosts to companies owned by people and entities from across the globe, yet suddenly finds itself almost making a Russian blacklist for exactly the same reasons.   The Kremlin's Finance Ministry had announced that it would officially equate Britain with traditional ‘fiscal paradises’ like Panama, the BVI and the Caymans. Such a humiliating move would have meant any Russian resident who set up a UK company – such...

“Penultimate” beneficial owners in Ukrainian companies

  14 October last year Ukrainian parliament passes an updated – FATF-oriented – law with an overly optimistic and catchy title “On Preventing and Combatting Legalization (Laundering) of the Criminally Acquired Income, Financing of Terrorism and Financing of Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction” (a.k.a. Anti-Laundering Law) and its satellite “On Amending Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Defining Ultimate Beneficiaries and Public Persons” (a.k.a. UBOs Law). Both laws are passed to implement Ukraine’s Anticorruption Strategy (adopted on the very same day) and, inter...

What a View - the Latest Weavering Clawback Claims

     As published on this site, in late December the liquidators of Cayman Islands-domiciled Weavering Macro Fixed Income Fund Limited (the Company) filed a series of summonses in the Grand Court in which they claim that redemption payments made by the Company to a number of investors in the six months immediately preceding the commencement of the liquidation of the Company are 'invalid preferences.'  In these claims the Liquidators rely upon s.145 (1) of the Companies Law 2009 (as Amended), as opposed to Section 37(6)(a) of the Companies Law, and Section 168 (the predecessor to...

To Pierce or not to Pierce ?

      That was the question before the U.K. Supreme Court in the case of Prest v Petrodel Resources Limited & Others and answered in the negative in the much awaited and by now heavily analysed judgment issued in June of this year and reported at [2013] UKSC 34.  In the end the Supreme Court used trust law rather than company law to hold that seven disputed properties in matrimonial proceedings were in the particular circumstances of the case, held on trust for the husband (even though held in fact by his companies).  While the Court did not resort to piercing the company veil...

What Price Justice?

    Last week the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform issued a report in which it called for the regulation of entities offering funding for litigation to those who cannot afford the costs of taking their claim to the Courts.  The Chamber has been a critic of third party funders for some time, offering the opinion that “third-party investments in litigation represent a clear and present danger to the impartial and efficient administration of civil justice in the United States.”  I would like to know on what basis such a conclusion was reached.  The paper issued by...

Will the Real Foreign Official Step Foward?

  The U.S. government has in recent years exhibited an increasingly aggressive approach in prosecuting individuals for alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, (“FCPA”).  The FCPA prohibits, inter alia,  any domestic individual or business entity from making payments to a “foreign official” for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business 15 U.S.C. § 78dd-2(a)(1). Prosecutors have pushed an expansive view of who is a foreign official in recent years, in pursuing many cases where bribes were paid to officials at state-owned companies.       Under the FCPA, a...

English Supreme Court rejects Universalist Approach

    The recent decision of the Supreme Court of England and Wales in the case of Rubin and another v Euro Finance SA [2012] UKSC 46 represents a return to a territorial approach in the context of insolvency proceedings.  The Supreme Court overturned the judgment of the Court of Appeals in what is considered to be a landmark decision, not on account of any pioneering legal argument but because it signals a return to the status quo and a rejection of the judicial trend towards a universal approach to cross-border insolvency proceedings. The Supreme Court judgment re-asserts the...

Obtaining Evidence for Foreign Proceedings not possible via Norwich Pharmacal

  The English High Court recently handed down a rather contentious decision in the case of R (on the application of Omar) v Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs [2012] EWHC 1737 (Admin), where it held that a Norwich Pharmacal order cannot compel the provision of evidence for use in foreign proceedings. The Court distinguished evidence from information, while admitting that the distinction was not a clear one.   In this case the Applicants, (arrested in connection with the fatal bombing in Kampala during the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final) sought to compel the...

The Fairfield Sentry Litigation BVI - Update

   In June of this year the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal dismissed Fairfield Sentry Limited's appeals. The Court of Appeal found that the restitution claims, brought on the basis of alleged mistake as to the value of the Madoff Investment Securities did not render the contracts between Fairfield and the redeeming shareholder null and void. There were contractual obligations to be fulfilled by both Sentry and former shareholders by virtue of Article 10 of Sentry's Articles of Association.  The former shareholders had fully performed their obligations under the contract and so upon a...

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Privilege Wealth look-alike C-Tech Financial seeks millions from investors
British businessmen who fronted a failed attempt to keep the collapsed Privilege Wealth investment scheme going under another name in 2017 after it was exposed by OffshoreAlert have launched a look-alike in Florida and England, C-Tech Financial. They are Keith Harris, who is Deputy Chairman of Everton Football Club, and Andrew MacKenzie, who once ran the image rights firm of British politician and Olympic champion Sebastian Coe.