The Virtues of Keeping the Ownership of Business Enterprises Anonymous

In October of 2021, news media across the world reported on what was said to be the largest leak ever of offshore data, exposing the rampant use of anonymous shell companies by the rich and the powerful. Branded the Pandora Papers, the leak featured a Panamanian law firm that purportedly created at least 14,000 shell companies and trusts in offshore jurisdictions – entities with no real business operations or assets that are frequently used to facilitate illicit activities ranging from drug trafficking to tax evasion. The Pandora Papers leak followed other massive document-leaks over the past several years that have … Read more

Regulating Offshore Finance

The Cayman Islands, Bermuda, and the British Virgin Islands are famous as “tax havens” that facilitate the evasion or avoidance of domestic tax. They and a growing number of other offshore jurisdictions in the Caribbean and elsewhere are emerging hubs of modern financial transactions. While offshore jurisdictions tend to attract foreign capital with low tax rates, they may be doing much more than shortchanging the Internal Revenue Service.

In my article, “Regulating Offshore Finance,” I explore how offshore incorporation can enable commercial entities to evade federal regulatory statutes. The applicability of federal statutes and where a commercial entity chooses to … Read more