Keyword: tax evasion
UBS and its subsidiary UBS France were earlier this year placed under formal investigation for conspiracy in illegal sales of banking services in a wide-ranging judicial probe into evidence suggesting the bank enabled wealthy French nationals to evade tax on assets deposited in undeclared Swiss accounts. Mediapart has gained exclusive access to documents that illustrate how UBS enticed wealthy French footballers to place their assets with the bank, and which raise further questions over its suspected complicity in tax fraud. Mathilde Mathieu, Michaël Hajdenberg and Dan Israel report.
Disgraced former French budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac (pictured), who in April confessed to holding a secret foreign bank account while leading a crackdown on tax dodgers, sat on evidence implicating the HSBC bank’s French unit in organizing tax evasion which was handed to him when he was president of the parliamentary finance commission, Mediapart can reveal. The bank is now at the centre of a French judicial investigation, launched in April, into suspected “laundering of the proceeds of tax fraud” and the “illegal prospection” of clients. Cahuzac, who as president of the parliamentary finance commission had the power to launch an independent investigation into the bank’s activities in France, received the information in August 2010, when his brother, Antoine Cahuzac, was a senior director of HSBC’s French arm. Fabrice Arfi and Valentine Oberti report.
After its French subsidiary was put under investigation, Swiss-based UBS bank faces probe over allegedly helping clients open undeclared accounts.
ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel producer whose chairman and CEO is London-based Indian tycoon Lakshmi Mittal (pictured), pays hardly any taxes in Europe. Making the most of the tax-break competition between European Union countries, the group juggles transfer pricing and optimal fiscal gains for its financial flow. But behind what may appear to be a common sense business approach that makes the most of what’s on offer lies a secretive organisation that prevents any proper scrutiny of the real economic performance of ArcelorMittal’s plants or subsidiary companies. In this first of a two-part investigation, Martine Orange traces the steel giant's history and lifts the veil on its hidden practices.
UBS France CEO has been questioned by judges who are deciding whether to formally place the bank under formal investigation, reports say.
European leaders met this week at a summit intended to decide upon aggressive policies to tackle tax evasion, but the results were far from conclusive, not least because of continuing opposition from Austria and Luxembourg on introducing a yearly automatic exchange of bank account information between member states. Mediapart’s Brussels correspondent Ludovic Lamant reports on the outcome of Wednesday’s talks, and examines whether the European Union is truly capable of acting as the umbrella organisation to halt a tax drain that is estimated to cost its members a combined 1 trillion euros per year.
The still-unfolding scandal surrounding the secret foreign account of former budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac, first revealed by Mediapart last December, has rocked the French political establishment to its core. But it may not be the last such explosive revelation. For the private Geneva-based financial institution that Cahuzac used to manage his funds hidden abroad, Reyl & Cie, is alleged by several sources contacted by Mediapart to have provided its discreet services to other French personalities - including senior political figures. Dan Israel pieces together a secret and complex financial puzzle, with the help of insiders from the world of finance and banking in Geneva and Paris.
Newspaper says that Laurent Fabius is being investigated by Mediapart for allegedly holding Swiss bank account; Mediapart hits back at newspaper.
Ministers say they are looking to tighten Europe-wide measures against tax evasion as it scrambles to contain the Cahuzac fraud affair.
The latest twists in the Cahuzac affair show that money, when it becomes an end in itself, is like crime in its desire to escape the law. Here Mediapart republishes an article by Editor-in-Chief Edwy Plenel in which he sets out how tax evasion has become a colossal and institutionalised business at the centre of the economy. Fighting it has never been more urgent, he argues, yet little effort - if any - is being made to prevent it or to sanction those who are bleeding society of vital resources.
Following French budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac’s vehement denials of Mediapart’s revelations that he held a secret bank account in Switzerland over a number of years until 2010, Mediapart publishes here a sound recording of a conversation in which Cahuzac (pictured) explicitly refers to the account, held with a branch of Swiss banking giant UBS in Geneva. Cahuzac, who last month announced a crackdown by his ministry on tax fraud, can be heard saying: “What bothers me is that I still have an account open with UBS", before adding, with irony: "UBS is not necessarily the most hidden of banks.” Fabrice Arfi reports.
Greek journalist Kostas Vaxevanis was finally acquitted last week by an Athens court of charges of violation of privacy and data protection laws, brought after the magazine he edits, Hot Doc, published a list of the names of more than 2,000 wealthy Greek individuals and companies with secret bank accounts in Switzerland. Shortly before his acquittal, Vaxevanis was interviewed by Amélie Poinssot, when he explained why he decided to publish the list, how he received it and who is on it, and what the whole affair says about the state of journalism in Greece.
The tax-avoiding attraction of Belgium for the French rich is nothing new. But since the arrival of France’s socialist president, François Hollande, who has announced a 75% tax on those earning an annual 1 million euros or more, the country’s wealthy have begun pointing north. While speculation continues to surround the motivations of Bernard Arnault, founder and chief executive of French luxury goods group LVMH and France’s richest individual, in applying for Belgian nationality, the controversy has fuelled a lively debate in Belgium itself over the country’s growing status as a semi-tax haven. Mediapart’s Brussels correspondent Ludovic Lamant reports on the rich figures of a tax-avoiding exodus that, continent-wide, is estimated to annually cost European states 150 billion euros.
More than 2,000 Britons living in Monaco, including 533 UK company directors, yearly cost the UK economy more than 1.2 billion euros in lost taxes.