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December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘money laundering’

‘The IRS Wants YOU’ and Israel Is Going to Help Them

Monday, March 10th, 2014

A mini “economic social” cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, soon will approve an agreement to share information on accounts of U.S. citizens with the Internal Revenue Service, sources told the Globes business newspaper.

The newspaper said the proposal will allow the IRS full access on Americans’ accounts in Israeli banks and other financial institutions.

The U.S. government is preparing to sign agreements with other countries as well, but Israel is high on its “hit list,” partly because Swiss banks have accounts in three Israeli banks. Switzerland is no longer a safe place for foreigners to hide their money from the tax man, and so Israel has become a favorite home for money launderers and tax evaders.

The Israel Tax Authority is expecting increased revenues if the measure is approved. “The agreement will include an option under which, subject to certain conditions, information will be sent from the U.S. tax authorities to the Israeli tax authorities about the income of Israeli residents in the U.S.,” the document states.

However, while all information on American accounts in Israel will be sent to the IRS, Israel will receive data only in special cases.

The proposed agreement contained clauses aimed at protecting individuals from the IRS misusing personal information, but it is not clear if the IRS has learned its lessons from recent scandals, such as hunting down those nasty pro-Israel groups, as reported here.

Big Brother in Israel also is waiting on deck.

Attorney Yael Grossman, an expert in money laundering, told Globes, “The decision paves the way for further harm to the separation between the management of money by a bank and disclosure to Income Tax. Although at the moment, the measure helps the banks and saves them the need to work directly with the IRS, but experience shows that it will later expose all of the public’s banking activities to the Israel Tax Authority.

“This will be the final burial of banking confidentiality on one hand and a signal for the strengthening and prosperity of alternative institutions, which will rush to offer alternative instruments to the public.”

Americans living in Israel have an alternative to leaving their tax records and financial activities accessible by your closest friendly IRS clerk. They can simply void their American citizenship, a growing trend that was reported here in December.

Approximately 3,000 did so in 2013, three times the number in 2012. That means the IRS cannot snoop on them, but it also means they lose their right to vote in American elections, assuming it would be worth voting.

Bank of Israel May Pop the Bitcoin Bubble

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

The Bank of Israel is considering clamping down on the use of “bitcoins” with stiff regulations and warned the public on Wednesday to beware of possible fraudulent use of the virtual currency.

The bitcoin is a digital currency, but its value is determined by demand. It is worth about $635 today, but was valued at $1,000 late last year and as little as $150 this past September.

Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug issued her warning following the bitcoin’s popularity that has attracted several start-ups to allow the bitcoin to be used to buy everything from soup to shares on the stock market.

The bitcoin “is liable to be exploited for criminal activity, including money laundering, financing illegal activities and financing terrorism,” the Bank stated.

“It was agreed to continue to examine various perspectives related to the use of, and trade in, virtual currencies. These perspectives include possible macro effects, their legal standing, their regulation, money laundering and terror financing risks, taxation and consumer protection.”

The statement added, “It is emphasized that they [bitcoins] are also not legal tender of any country, and that the term used does not indicate any legal status as ‘currency.’”

It also pointed out that bitcoins, since they are only virtual currencies and are stored on smartphones or computers, are subject to robbery through hacking.

Regulators in the United States , Canada, the European Union  and elsewhere, who have published similar warnings to the public.

However, all the warnings may be superfluous. Wired.com reported Wednesday that a computer glitch at Mt. Gox, once the world’s biggest bitcoin exchange, has scared bitcoin owners.

Mt. Gox said two weeks temporarily stopped allowing customers to withdraw bitcoins, stating that the glitch in bitcoin software affected it and another exchange. The result was a dive in the value of bitcoins at Mt. Gox although it has remained steady elsewhere.

Rabbi Pinto Will Be Charged with Bribing Police Officer

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has decided on Wednesday to adopt the state attorney’s recommendation and charge Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto with bribery. Rabbi Pinto is expected to be indicted in the next few days, and the counts will include interfering in a police investigation, bribing officials, harassing a witness and money laundering.

The charges will be pressed following a long campaign on the part of the accused and his attorneys to avoid his indictment, a campaign that included, according to the prosecution, an attempt to reach a plea bargain using incriminating material against the commander of special cases unit Lahav 433, Menashe Arbiv, who has meanwhile retired from the police.

Rabbi Pinto will be charged with giving a $200 thousand bribe to Commander Ephraim Bracha, head of the police national fraud unit a year ago, in exchange for information regarding the investigation of the not-for-profit Chazon Yeshaia (Isaiah’s Vision), headed by Rabbi pinto. At the time, Commander Bracha informed his superiors about the bribe attempt, and will likely be a key witness for the prosecution.

The rabbi’s attorneys told the press that they will present their response in due time, and that they found AG Weinstein’s decision to go ahead with the indictment “questionable.”

The “Shuva Israel” institutions, which are run by Rabbi Pinto, released the following statement: “We believe completely in the Rabbi’s righteousness, and in the coming days will expose to the public the entire litany of events in this case since 2010. Back then, rabbi Pinto was the victim of blackmail and threats in the United States. When this entire affair from that time on is exposed, the public will be able to judge who is the accuser and who the accused.”

According to Walla, Rabbi Pinto has disappeared in recent weeks, and no one in his network of institutions, in Israel and in the U.S. knows where he is. Rumors have it that he’s been teaching Torah to his followers in Texas, Los Angeles or New York City. Other rumors suggest he is back in Israel.

Another source suggested he was in Morocco, “where they show him more respect.”

Police Raid Dieudonne’s Home and Find More than $1 Million in Cash

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

The so-called French comedian Dieudonne is a suspect for money laundering after police raided his Paris home Tuesday and found more than $1 million in cash there and in a theatre he operates.

If charged and convicted, his previous hate crimes, primarily anti-Semitic slurs against Jews, will seem like petty theft, and God willing, his mate messages will be restricted to the confines of prison cell.

French authorities want Dieudonne to pay fines of nearly $100,000 for previous convictions and now think that he was scheming to declare himself bankrupt and that he may be guilty of money laundering.

Israel Declares War on Cash to Help Get Rid of Tax Evasion

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

A new Israeli government committee has 90 days to present to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ideas on how to implement a more cashless society, with free electronic charge cards to replace cash transactions in a war against the “underground” economy.”

The cash cards, unlike credit cards, will be available to poor people  on welfare or who have no bank accounts.

“It is estimated that billions of shekels in the economy are not taxed, which means that the public does not benefit from them,” said Harel Locker, who will chair the committee while remaining as director of the Office of the Prime Minister.

Police officials say that a more cashless society will help decrease  money laundering and the underworld’s use of cash to finance crime.

Several European countries already have adopted policies to limit cash transactions, and the United States requires citizens to report all cash transactions exceeding $10,000.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-declares-war-on-cash-to-held-get-rid-of-tax-evasion/2013/09/17/

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