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The Rock ‘n Roll Aussie Tax Lawyer Who Has Cooked Up A Global Tax Storm

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Image: The Age

Australian tax lawyer and rock singer Patrick Flynn, as soon as a quiet suburban lawyer, has been thrust into the forefront of a serious tax scandal involving allegation of rich Australians having their cash funnelled into offshore accounts that echoes the Panama Papers episode that enveloped regulation agency Mossack Fonseca.

The Melbourne Age newspaper stories that 54-year-old Australian lawyer has constructed a booming global authorized apply by advising Australians methods to exploit them to minimise their tax however who’s now going through intense scrutiny from the Australian tax workplace who’re struggling to trace the untaxed cash leaving Australia for offshore financial institution accounts.

The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, 60 Minutes and The New York Times revealed how a secretive international operation, codenamed ‘Atlantis’ targets Australian taxpayers who use a Puerto Rican financial institution, Euro Pacific, co-owned by American superstar stockbroker and radio persona Peter Schiff.

Euro Pacific bank gives offshore banking services for purchasers and has operated for a while dealing with such transactions globally.

An undercover media investigation has created controversy in Australia and has prompted calls for brand spanking new legal guidelines in Australia and higher enforcement.

Financial crime specialists in Australia are calling for the federal authorities should introduce long-stalled legal guidelines that may pressure Australian legal professionals and accountants to report their purchasers to authorities in the event that they transfer cash in a suspect trend, together with offshore.

The specialists declare that advisers like Flynn spotlight the necessity for modifications to make sure legal professionals and accountants face the identical obligations as banks and cash remitters to report suspicious transactions. Instead, they’re advising how to not go away a cash path.

On one recording, Flynn says to an individual who he thinks is a possible consumer: “I say to clients all the time, ‘Look, there’s no reward without risk. You’re wanting to set up a tax-free situation, to avoid information exchange [with tax authorities] … There’s no perfect world, mate’.”

Moving From Suburban Law to Seychelles

The allegations say that Flynn had acquired a call from a former college colfriend who had labored in London working for global monetary companies and speaking concerning the offshore tax and monetary enterprise.

“Hang on a second, I can make more money setting up off-shore companies, [with] a lot less stress than I can working as a litigation lawyer slash commercial lawyer in London. F— that,” Flynn mentioned on one recording.

His London pal was searching for referrals to his new enterprise within the Seychelles – the tax haven that boasts of “solid secrecy and attractive offshore business laws”. According to Flynn, “I straight away saw the opportunity, and I said, ‘Mate, is there room for two?’”

He made a touch to the Seychelles earlier than returning to Brisbane, promoting his regulation agency and transferring to the Indian Ocean residence what place he pitched for purchasers and spent spare time taking part in rock ‘n roll gigs in resorts throughout the island along with his band The Red Trees.

Although there is no such thing as a suggestion Flynn broke the regulation, he definitely had labored the legal guidelines to make sure the enterprise offers flowed via his community.

In his dialog with an undercover operative posing as a consultant for an Australia-based multinational businessmen, Flynn additionally describes “a number of banking jurisdictions” what place “we can open up a bank account for your clients” that won’t share info with tax authorities.

“There’s no risk. There’s absolutely zero risk of bank account information sharing,” he says.

In his pitch, Flynn speaks of his relationships with dozens of offshore banks, and a associate in his agency, says Flynn, is a chartered accountant who specialises in organizing offshore accounts.

Puerto Rico is one other favoured vacation spot for such planning as a result of it has each low or zero taxes. Flynn has been “working with” Euro Pacific – the financial institution on the centre of international tax evasion probe Operation Atlantis – “for about eight years”.

For Flynn, the financial institution’s biggest promoting level is the very fact it doesn’t robotically share details about its Australian clients with different international locations’ tax authorities, as a result of Puerto Rico and the US are usually not signatories to a world treaty designed to stop tax evasion.

Flynn says this implies Euro Pacific presents “a totally private bank account. That’s the big advantage.” Flynn has his own account at Euro Pacific, linked to a money buying and selling firm in Panama.

Financial crime specialists similar to Erskine and former Australian Federal Police detective John Chevis say advisers similar to Flynn are far too calmly regulated. This is regardless of a bipartisan parliamentary committee in 2015 calling for legal guidelines that may make legal professionals and accountants turning into cash laundering “reporting agents”. The legal guidelines are additionally being pushed on Australia by the Financial Action Task Force, a worldwide intergovernmental monetary crime company.

Erskine says Australia’s anti-money laundering regime because it stands is “designed to fail. Accountants and lawyers need to be treated as reporting agents for this to change.”

Australia’s prime cash laundering and tax haven knowledgeable, Professor Jason Sharman, directs his criticism in direction of a federal authorities that “doesn’t really care about most financial crime”. In Sharman’s view, Operation Atlantis and different main probes are exceptions to a largely passive monetary crime regulation enforcement surroundings, in line with the Age report.

Source: Melbourne Age


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