Mike the Good Ole Country Boy vs. Lester the ScoundrelJan 12 • Categorized as Asset Protection,Offshore Banking
by Bobby Casey, Global Wealth Protection
For many of you reading this, you may already have an offshore bank account and possibly an offshore company in a place like Seychelles, Belize, Nevis, Cook Islands or Hong Kong.
However, there are clearly a large number of you still sitting on the fence and unsure of why you would ever want an offshore bank account. There is also quite a few of you who aren’t even sure if it’s legal for Americans to set up an offshore company or offshore bank account.
To respond to the second question first, the answer is simply – yes. There is a lot of fear propagated from big brother and the media intent on scaring you out of moving money offshore.
This is primarily for two reasons;
- This is protectionism at its finest and big brother wants to control your money and forcibly take 30-50% of your income through taxation. If your cash is held offshore, they fear you won’t pay and they won’t be able to collect.
- With the fractional reserve banking system, for every $1 you take out of a US bank, that removes $10 from the money supply in the US economy. No politician or central banker wants that.
To answer the first question, I will illustrate with two stories. Both stories are factual with only the names and some details changed for privacy reasons.
Mike called me a few weeks ago to discuss his financial problems. You see Mike is facing a $1.2M IRS tax lien. This may or may not sound like a lot to many of you, but for him, this is a very big deal.
The trouble started over 10 years ago. Mike was a good ole country boy. He owned a small house on a couple of acres, a 50 acre farm left to him by his parents, and for income he owned and managed a small used car lot. His wife worked as a school teacher and their combined income at the time was around $75,000 per year.
Mike and his wife were frugal people and never spent more than they earned, were debt free, yet lived a good comfortable life.
The problem arose from the operation of his used car lot. Mike’s business was a typical used car lot selling clean, well maintained Japanese cars that were between 3-7 years old. It was a good niche because the new car dealerships would take them on trade, but wouldn’t sell them on their own lots. So they went to auction where Mike would pick them up at wholesale prices.
As with most ‘buy-here-pay-here’ used car lots, Mike offered his own financing to his ‘less than credit worthy’ buyers. If properly managed this can be a pretty lucrative business as they charge exorbitant interest rates, require 30% down payments, and the buyer pays weekly.
If the buyer misses a payment, you shut the car down with a hidden electronic shut off switch and repo in the middle of the night only to resell the car again next week.
In this business it is typical for people like Mike to run into cash flow problems. If tight on cash, they are unable to restock their lots, so they go to lenders who specialize in buying the book of notes from used car dealers.
This is where Mike’s troubles began. The ‘businessman’, who agreed to buy Mike’s notes, also took it upon himself to start a new company using Mike’s personal information – social security number, date of birth, etc.
This scoundrel, Lester, was gracious enough to offer Mike a good deal buying these notes at a discount allowing Mike to increase cash flow for buying more cars.
Of course Lester also used this same company he created using Mike’s personal information to buy notes from many other used car lot owners. After a couple of years, Lester was earning a very nice profit, but as you may imagine he was not reporting any of this to the IRS.
After a couple of years, Mike received a letter from the IRS saying he owed $500,000 in back taxes from his note buying business. Good ole country boy Mike hadn’t earned enough to owe that kind of money in taxes over the past 10 years combined.
Knowing he was innocent and convinced this would be easy enough to prove to the court, Mike showed up defending himself against the IRS. Long story short, Mike lost his temper in court and was sent to jail for 6 months for contempt.
During this time, Mike’s bank accounts were seized by the IRS and tax liens were placed on both his house and his farm. The bank account seizure and property liens were completed before Mike was even found guilty and convicted of tax fraud.
At the direction of Mike’s lawyer, he plead guilty and was released from jail for time served and was required to submit himself to psychiatric evaluation which resulted in a permanent criminal record with an insanity plea.
This record along with the insanity plea prevents Mike from ever getting a US passport and makes it very difficult to find reasonable employment. Ten years later, Mike is still fighting this battle.
My second story involves a friend of mine, Steve. Like Mike, Steve was just a normal guy living a normal life. He was married with 3 kids, nice house, nice cars, and good job in the IT sector with a good low 6 figure income.
Steve was also a frugal guy and had saved up a pretty decent nest egg. Everything seemed to be going well for him.
Unfortunately Steve did not realize that his wife, Matilda, was not nearly as happy as he was with their normal suburban life. Matilda was a nurse and happy with her career, but very unhappy with life at home.
We don’t really know what happened, but either she was bored with Steve or was just swooned by Sylvester, but either way she was receiving the majority of her affections from outside the boundaries of her white picket fence.
Sylvester was a sly cat. He convinced Matilda that she deserved a better life and he was the one to provide that for her. Together they devised a scheme to boost their own nest egg by depriving Steve of his lifetime of hard work.
Once the timing was right, Matilda registered a complaint with the police department against Steve for spousal abuse (completely false charges) and shortly thereafter filed for divorce under those grounds. Matilda was a great actress and the police took the bait – hook, line and sinker.
Steve was arrested and hauled off to county jail. He was held without bond because Matilda convinced the court that if released he would unleash his violent urges in retaliation against her and the children.
During Steve’s ‘vacation’, Matilda maxed out each and every credit card they held jointly. Most of them were just cards tied to Steve’s credit, with Matilda as a secondary card holder. She also wiped out their joint bank accounts and in the divorce settlement, Matilda was awarded the house, the cars, and an alimony payment that was 75% of Steve’s previous income.
I say previous income, because as you can imagine once Steve was in county lock up, his old job fired him. After all, who wants a wife-beating criminal on the payroll?
In just a matter of a few months, Steve went from a happy husband and father with a sizable savings account, great job and nice house to an unemployed, penniless criminal that cannot see his own children and more debt than he can ever possibly pay off.
I am certain many of you are saying to yourself, “Nice stories, but that kind of thing would never happen to me.” I can tell you that Mike and Steve said the same thing right up until the time it was too late.
Back to the original questions, “Why would you ever want or need an offshore bank account?” For Mike and Steve, an offshore bank account held in a private offshore company name would have been an excellent insurance policy against the problems that eventually befell them.
Mike could have set up an offshore Seychelles IBC and opened an offshore bank account in the company name to use for his savings account.
This offshore savings account could have been the nest egg he kept outside of the reach of the US court system allowing him a financial backdoor in the unlikely event that he is ever a victim of identity theft.
Steve could have done the same thing setting up a Cook Islands LLC and offshore bank account for his savings and investment portfolio.
This offshore bank and brokerage account could have been Steve’s “Global Escape Hatch” in the unlikely event that his wife went off the deep end with Sylvester the cat.
These are but just two stories I could give out of countless tales from people who thought, “This would never happen to me,” until it did in fact happen to them and they wished they had already set up an offshore company and offshore bank account as a means of financial insurance.
I wrote a recent article titled, “Svetlana Takes Victor to the Cleaners” that discusses a unique opportunity to set up an offshore Seychelles IBC and European bank account. This is a very low cost way to begin setting up your own asset protection plan.
To learn more about setting up your own offshore company and offshore bank account, please contact us using the form below.