Elmer to give more Cayman documents to WikiLeaks

| 16/01/2011

(Guardian): The offshore bank account details of 2,000 "high net worth individuals" and corporations – detailing massive potential tax evasion – will be handed over to the WikiLeaks organisation in London tomorrow (Monday 17 January) by the most important and boldest whistleblower in Swiss banking history, Rudolf Elmer, two days before he goes on trial in his native Switzerland. Elmer, who after his press conference will return to Switzerland from exile in Mauritius to face trial, is a former chief operating officer in the Cayman Islands and employee of Julius Baer bank, which accuses him of stealing the information.

The first crop of documents which Elmer leaked were scrutinised by the Guardian newspaper in 2009, which found "details of numerous trusts in which wealthy people have placed capital. This allows them lawfully to avoid paying tax on profits, because legally it belongs to the trust … The trust itself pays no tax, as a Cayman resident", although "the trustees can distribute money to the trust’s beneficiaries".

Now, Jack Blum Elmer’s lawyer says, "Elmer is being tried for violating Swiss banking secrecy law even though the data is from the Cayman Islands. This is bold extraterritorial nonsense. Swiss secrecy law should apply to Swiss banks in Switzerland, not a Swiss subsidiary in the Cayman Islands."

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Comments (26)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Blogger 22:34 Please get your facts straight as to which Institution Mr. Elmer is implicating. It is NOTUBS!

    • Anonymous says:

      Stop splitting hairs.

      There is nothing happening at Julius Baer that didn’t happen at UBS.

      • My2Cents says:

        Thank you to all the kind people who pointed out my error. You are all correct. He worked for Julius Baer and not UBS.

        These Swiss organanisations are all playing the same game though – using Cayman for their own purposes. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference. It is their actions which have brought Cayman’s reputation down, not the islands themselves.

        And to all those who felt it necessary to point out my error whilst throwing insults around, is that really necessary?

  2. Cassius Dio says:

    Personally I still can’t find any evidence of tax evasion from the last information he leaked to wikileaks.

    He has even given all this "evidence" to the Guardian who reviewed it and stated it may have contained some evidence of perfectly legal tax avoidance.

    All he is actually leaking is personal information

  3. Alan Nivia says:

    Should we not welcome someone who has the guts to blow the whistle on those using the Cayman Islands for criminal purposes?

  4. My2cents says:

    Oh please. Is this guy is blowing the whistle on Cayman, or the activities of his former employer, who abused the Cayman Islands?

    UBS globally is well known for its high antics helping US tax payer avoid paying tax – hence the recent prosecution of UBS. This is not "new" news. This is a disgruntled ex-employee re-hashing what everyone already knows about UBS. Sad thing is he is slinging mud against UBS and the Cayman Islands; mud that will stick. 

    Frankly UBS, and their likes, have caused untold damage to the reputation of the islands, but lets not forget, it is the activities of UBS, not the activities of the Cayman Islands which are at fault. 

     

    • Anonymous says:

      We only want the jobs UBS creates. 

    • Cassius Dio says:

      What has Elmer got to do with UBS? It states correctly in the article that he worked for Julius Baer

    • You don't get it... says:

       nIgnoramous – it is JULIUS BAER – I think you are confusing events here, doofus!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

     Fire all of the foreigners.  Caymanians won’t do this.  They’ll talk your business but they won’t send your business to Wikileaks or take it to court.  Does this man realize what he is doing?  He could cause a global depression.  People could just take all of their money out of the banks because of fears of people like him getting their personal information.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you are JUST worried about a certain type of person who IS guilty of Tax evasion only.  Most (people) would not be worried about this because they are not criminals.   I do however see your point about Caymanians (talking?) their business as this was a major source of funding for Grand Cayman and explains a lot about how things still work here.  I’m sure its very good to know that those tax evaders can still trust you all.

      • Anonymous says:

        "I  think you are JUST worried about a certain type of person who IS guilty of Tax evasion only.  Most (people) would not be worried about this because they are not criminals.   I do however see your point about Caymanians (talking?) their business as this was a major source of funding for Grand Cayman and explains a lot about how things still work here.  I’m sure its very good to know that those tax evaders can still trust you all."

        Sorry, thought everyone would realize that I was just joking.  I should have added that at the end, I guess.

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe if the billionaires paid their taxes, the rest of the world woulldnt be having such a hard time trying to feed their kids.

  6. whodatis says:

    Buckle up people of Cayman … prepare to become the bruised and battered political and talking point football of the international media and courts yet again.

    It always perplexes me how sparse we Caymanians are in the higher ranks of "our" banking industry yet OUR COUNTRY / PEOPLE are globally branded as the bad guys.

    Like I have said before – the elite players in our banking industry are some slick and slimy imps.

    We did not request, implement or even fuel the industry in any major way – however, we are forever stuck with the bad reputation.

    I guess this is the trade-off though, for I will admit – banking has contributed in a major way to our standard of living.

    This supersonic tale is a spicy cocktail of ignorance, trickery, greed, intelligence, wit, crime, coincidence, crookedness, complacency, joy and gratitude – all depending upon what side of the situation one chooses to focus – with a bit of overlap at times as well.

    Personally, with my now improved (mature and honest) understanding of "money", globalization, corruption, and the overall western economic model – I would be a tremendous hypocrite to outright decry and criticize Elmer’s accusations and claims.

    "The West" is a dirty, slimy cockpit of hypocrisy and double-standards when it comes to greed, government and democracy.

    At the end of the day the "Cayman Islands" has been dead smack in the center of global finance throughout its heyday, and one would be foolish to believe that we miraculously writhed through with clean hands.

    The odd coincidence of this reality against the backdrop of the strong Christian / moral values (perhaps now diminishing but unquestionably present at the founding times of the industry) of actual Caymanian people is quite perplexing.

    Nevertheless, nothing was ever gained by "being nice" – a harsh reality of the world in which we live.

    • Caymanian at Heart says:

      We cannot do anything about an orchestrated “slime campaign” by those that want our business. Nor can we do anything about a disgruntled employee who some say have edited this material for ‘effect’.

      As long as the Onshore governments tax their people in unreasonable schemes, those citizens will move their money elsewhere. That is proven by the fact that the two largest money laundering and tax evading centres are ‘Onshore’ in London and New York.

      Tax “avoidance” or “Tax Planning” is LEGAL everywhere. We welcome your hard earned money to the Cayman Islands. We will even let you keep it. Enjoy the sun, sea and some Caybrew while you are here.

      …and come back for Permanent residency when the IRS or Exchequer decides to take too much.

      • expat weirdo says:

        First of all permanent residency works for some countries like UK Canada as they tax on residency.

        Americans are taxed on citizenship, even if they are permanent residents here they still have to pay tax to the IRS.

        Secondly all the major first world countries require residents to pay tax on all global income, not just income that is derived in the country of residence. That is how the Cayman Islands is used for tax evasion.

        Yes the Cayman lawyers sell it as tax avoidance which it is considered here, but back home those people are guilty of tax evasion.

         

        • Czec mate... says:

          Check your facts – VERY FEW countries require you pay tax on GLOBAL EARNINGS – unless you are ACTUALLY resident under their terms of residency.  Since most consider 6 months and a day to break residency, then you only have to spend a little over half a year away to pay NO taxes.  The US is the EXCEPTION – you are taxible if you never even enter the country, as long as you hold citizenship – they are with a VERY SMALL handful of devious partners on this.

          Of course, if Cayman had taxation, based on their definition of residency for rollover purposes, you become non resident after being away for a year, so to avoid taxes, you would have to be a Cayman resident who NEVER came to Cayman – grab that by the short and curlies and figure it out my friend – contradictions abound in Cayman Immigration Law to this day, and probably always will!!!

           

           

          • whodatis says:

            What are your views on the claim that in the USA the requirement for citizens to pay federal taxes is actually an unconstitutional one?

            It is said that there is no law or provision to be found that speaks to this requirement.

            Former IRS employees have resigned as a result and have outright refused to file federal income tax returns – one lady (ex IRS auditor / tax expert) in particular has not filed since 1998 … and she dares her former employer to try and force her to do so.

             

  7. Anonymous says:

    Is there no recourse under the Confidentiality Laws of the Cayman Islands?

  8. Anonymous says:

    and I say he should write a book… 

  9. Anonymous says:

    can’t wait for tony travers to try and explain this one!…..

  10. noname says:

    What a tool. Sounds like a case of revenge after being denied a promotion or something of the sort. I hope he ends up being prosecuted.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I say "Book him"  to the extent of the law.

    • Anonymous says:

      why? does the truth hurt?

      • Anonymous says:

        Truth, really? this sounds more like Revenge.

      • Cassius Dio says:

        What do the Uk or US government do to peopl ewho hack and steal banking information usually? Yes charge them, this is no different.

        Please show his evidence of tax evasion from his leaked documents already on wikileaks.