The Art of the Steal

by | Feb 15, 2002 | Archives

Many offers of overseas structures are scams. Here's how to avoid getting caught.

We receive a large number of inquiries about how and whether to set up overseas structures. Questions are about IBCs, LLCs, overseas trusts, contractual trusts and constitutional trusts, etc. to reduce tax or gain asset protection and privacy.

Regretfully many of the offers we are asked about are rip offs. There are so many questions that the temptation has been to create a form letter in reply. Yet this has not been done because every person's needs vary dramatically.

The scam artists are really promoting structures such as constitutional trusts, etc., big time right now. These structures are often expensive, they do not work and can get those who use them into serious (even criminal) trouble. These cons have become a big business because taxes are unfair and high, government intrusiveness grows and legal complications so great. Also the laws relating to all are so complex it is easy to dupe the average investor.

Having been in the overseas corporate and trust formation business for more than a decade- I have a pretty good grasp of this situation and promise you that many of the structures now touted do not work. Even those that do, do not apply for most investors. The costs and complications are simply too high for the benefits received.

I have asked a number of the eClub advisors to send me asset protection, tax saving, privacy gaining structures they recommend and will share these in future messages. This will be real structures that work and have been tested and are offered by professionals who have been in this field (and I have known) for many years.

The purpose of this message is to remind you that you should never buy a “one structure fits all” program from a promoter. If you are going to use any structure beyond an overseas bank account, you should always employ an attorney or CPA from your jurisdiction that is experienced in overseas structures to help you set up and maintain compliance of the structure.One way to protect yourself form the scam artists that operate in this area is to read the book “Art of the Steal“. This was written by Frank Abagnale, a former con artist who spent four years in jail after bouncing more than 2.5 million in bad checks in one year.

He had masqueraded as a Pan Am pilot, as a paediatrician and professor in his previous (ahem) career so he knows what he's writing about in this book that details scams that are waiting to happen to unsuspecting citizens.

Until next message, good global business and investing!