Daily Archives: October 24, 2016

SEARCH WARRANT: CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED BY CA AG AGAINST WELLS FARGO ON ALLEGATIONS OF ID THEFT OVER BOGUS ACCOUNTS

LA Times:

The search war­rant and re­lated doc­u­ments, served Oct. 5 and ob­tained by The Times through a pub­lic re­cords re­quest, con­firm that Cali­for­nia Atty. Gen. Kamala Har­ris, in the fi­nal weeks of a run for U.S. Sen­ate, has joined the grow­ing list of pub­lic of­fi­cials and agen­cies in­vest­ig­at­ing the bank in con­nec­tion with the ac­counts scan­dal.

Document: Statement of probable cause for Wells Fargo search warrant. From 4closurefraud.org:

NFL Players Lost $43M On One Man’s Financial Advice

(CBS) —  Jeff Rubin says he wishes he never set foot in Alabama.

That’s where a risky investment he made went bust, losing several NFL players a total of $43 million.

The disgraced financial adviser gives his first interview to 60 Minutes about a debacle that became the largest financial loss ever for NFL players at the hands of one investment adviser.

Armen Keteyian speaks to Rubin and some of the NFL players caught up in his bad deal on 60 Minutes,  Sunday (Oct. 23).

Rubin convinced his clients to invest in an entertainment and gambling development called Country Crossing that featured electronic bingo machines.

Electronic bingo was later deemed illegal by Alabama Governor Bob Riley.

Country Crossing was raided shortly after it opened.

Given the NFL’s abhorrence of gambling, how could he get his players involved in the deal, asks Keteyian. “Armen, you’re completely correct…if I can go back in time, I wish I’d never set foot in Alabama.”

After he put his players in the Country Crossing deal, a document outlining the risks to investors included a line that specifically pointed out the electronic bingo machines could be deemed illegal in Alabama.

Rubin says he doesn’t know if his players received this document.

Read on.

 

Senator wants IRS to show what it’s done about tax fraud since Panama Papers reports

An influential Democratic senator has demanded answers from the IRS about what it has done since the Panama Papers were published last spring to combat tax fraud committed through anonymous shell companies.

Oregon’s Ron Wyden is the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee and could become its chairman if Democrats regain control of the chamber in November elections. He sent a three-page letter on Wednesday to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, asking for data on required reporting about shell companies.

“It’s critical to determine whether our government has the right tools to discern legitimate businesses from criminal enterprises, and to identify what additional measures might be needed to fight financial crime,” Wyden said in his letter.

PAKISTANI COURT ISSUES NOTICE TO PM IN PANAMA PAPERS CASE

On Thursday, Pakistan’s Supreme Court issued notices for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter, son and son-in-law and others to respond to calls by opposition politicians for Sharif’s resignation in the wake of Panama Papers.

The start of the Supreme Court hearing was the latest chapter in a battle between Sharif and members of the opposition that has roiled the country since April.

“Nawaz Sharif should be held accountable like the prime minister of Iceland who was also named in the Panama Papers,” said Imran Kahn, a former international cricket star who is now a prominent opposition politician. Khan told reporters outside the Supreme Court in Islamabad that the panel of judges gave Sharif two weeks to provide a response.

Sharif welcomed the Supreme Court hearing, noting that he has also set-up a commission to examine the Panama Papers’ revelations, including reports that some of Sharif’s children were linked to offshore companies and property in the United Kingdom.

Opposition parties have called for a city-wide protest on November 2 to lockdown the capital city, Islamabad, home to two million people. According to reports, protestors will block all roads leading to government offices.

Meanwhile in the United States, the Democrat’s most senior member of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, Ron Wyden of Oregon, has demanded answers from the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of the Treasury about the ability of the U.S. to combat tax evasion and financial crime.

Using information obtained through ICIJ’s public Offshore Leaks database and through the committee’s own investigations into Panama Papers-related matters, Wyden sent a three-page letter on Wednesday seeking information on what thousands of shell companies linked to the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca have reported to U.S. authorities about their taxes and activities.

“It’s critical to determine whether our government has the right tools to discern legitimate businesses from criminal enterprises, and to identify what additional measures might be needed to fight financial crime,” Sen. Wyden wrote.

Overnight in Beirut, Lebanon, parliamentarians reportedly agreed to new laws that would keep Lebanon off a blacklist of tax havens.

Read on.

West Virginia candidate for governor owes millions in taxes

HINDMAN, Ky. (AP) — Jim Justice, a coal billionaire running for West Virginia governor, owes millions in back taxes to some of Appalachia’s most impoverished counties, including one in Kentucky that is struggling to pay the debt on a new rec center and has turned the lights off in its parks and reduced hot meals for senior citizens.

Many of these counties have been devastated by the collapse of the coal industry over the past few years, and their financial struggles are not all Justice’s fault. But county officials say things would be a lot easier if he paid up.

“It’s just absurd that a billionaire wouldn’t pay his taxes,” fellow Democrat Zach Weinberg, the top elected official in Kentucky’s Knott County, said as he thumbed through a folder of Justice’s debts.

Justice, who is leading in the polls, makes no apologies for the debt owed by some of his coal companies, saying he is doing everything he can to keep his businesses running and workers employed while other companies go under.

One of the biggest chunks of money owed is in Knott County, where Justice has unpaid taxes of $2.3 million dating to tax year 2014. That’s a substantial hole, given the county government’s $10 million budget and its separate $23 million school budget.

Justice has other unpaid tax bills scattered across the hills and hollows of eastern Kentucky: $1.2 million in Pike County, $500,000 in Floyd County, $228,300 in Magoffin County and $167,600 in Harlan County, according to county officials.

He also has millions in West Virginia state tax liens against his companies. Because of privacy laws, the state won’t say whether he is paying them back.

The Associated Press has reported previously on Justice’s debts to coal suppliers and contractors, and a recent National Public Radio report compiled a list of Justice company debts, including back taxes and mine safety fines totaling $15 million.

Read on.