Cayman Islands companies plead guilty to helping US taxpayers hide $130 million

Two financial firms, Cayman National Securities Ltd. and Cayman National Trust Ltd. both affiliates with Cayman National Corp., based in the Cayman Islands have pleaded guilty to helping U.S. taxpayers hide more than $130 million in offshore accounts, the Justice Department said Wednesday.

All of those companies provided investment brokerage and trust management services to individual and entities.

The two firms must pay more than $6 million in fines and will provide U.S. authorities with the files of up to 95% of their U.S. clients trying hide assets or income from the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS is expected to examine potential cases against them.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Department of Justice Tax Division said “The department and IRS are following the money across the globe there are no safe havens for US citizens engaged in tax evasion or those actively assisting them.”

Richard Weber, chief of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, said, “The veil of secrecy has been lifted from what was once a common place for criminals to hide their money offshore. The IRS and DoJ work aggressively to require banks to follow the laws and not turn a blind eye to criminal activity. When individuals and entities hide behind shell corporations and numbered bank accounts, they are not only cheating the US government, they are cheating the honest taxpaying citizens who are obeying the law and doing the right thing.”

These  pleas are the first convictions of financial firms outside Switzerland for conspiring with U.S. individuals to evade taxes.

Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.