Why white-collar criminals evade justice

“Why White Collar Crime Is Here to Stay” – Bloomberg reports on a new book by ENRON investigator Samuel Buell.

If “corporations are people too,” why isn’t anyone in jail? The former head of the Enron Corp. Task Force explains why it’s so difficult to convict companies and their executives.

Opening up shell companies

The Economist reports on efforts to make ‘offshore’ less synonymous with corruption and tax evasion.

  “Tracing illicit funds to a shell’s bank account is of little use if you cannot identify the individuals who control it. This worries business people as well as policymakers: a recent survey of corporate leaders in 62 countries by EY, an accounting firm, found strong support for more openness in ownership; legitimate firms want to know whom they are trading with.”

The article concludes that in spite of the attention afforded offshore havens via the blanket coverage of the Panama Papers and others, there is little hope for a full, open register of such entities any time soon, and we’re inclined to agree.

Tax avoidance – are we reaching critical mass?

Bloomberg has won its first Pulitzer. Interesting enough in itself, but even more so is the work that was recognized for the Explanatory Reporting award: a series of investigative reports on corporate tax avoidance in the US, and specifically the practice of ‘inversion’ that has seen billions of tax dollars evaporate into thin air.

In the UK non-dom tax status is also under extreme scrutiny, and whilst we’re not naive enough to believe that corporate tax avoidance is on the wane, it is becoming increasingly embarrassing for those companies and individuals that are named and shamed in the press.

Read Bloomberg’s Pulitzer winning work here: The Tax Runaways

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