Tag Archive: money laundering


Upon reading Shelley A. Stark’s, Hidden Treuhand:  How Corporations and Individuals Hide Assets and Money, my first response was of shock and disbelief.  Then the anger and outrage emerged.  It is clear Shelly Stark is a courageous Whistleblower.  She has dared to expose an organized and secret system of hiding money and assets that has been going on for a long period of history but, that few average people know exists. 

What Ms. Stark is writing about has been a very closely guarded secret prior to now.  Due to becoming aware of the Hidden Treuhand, because of being victimized by its use on her by some business partners, Ms. Stark started what turned out to be five years of hard investigation and research to find out what had happened to her business partnership.  It was not an easily solved mystery.  Fortuitously, Ms. Stark has the economic education, training, intellect, and courage to have tackled this previously secret strategy,  which large corporations and wealthy individuals have known about and had access to utilize in the shadows of our economic world  for a long time.  Her work required copious amounts of research into the history of the practice of Treuhands, hidden or not, and translating masses of German/Austrian law records to get an historical perspective and meaningful understanding of its contemporary impact on our financial  lives. 

In her book, Stark explains that this type of financial and legal strategy is not legal in the U.S., but is legal in certain countries in Europe (Austria, Lichtenstein, Switzerland) and is spreading to other regions (Dubai) making it possible for a lot of manipulation and corrupt dealings to take place, with the public having no inkling it is happening to their money and assets.  She explains how it is possible for a corporation or certain officers of a corporation to hide money, assets, and even people and other money payoffs to people using these Hidden Treuhands, potentially keeping the Hidden Treuhand and everything put into it, secret even from their own board of directors. 

 It appears that using a Hidden Treuhand, Corporations and the wealthy can now thwart any current U.S. government oversight activity, including laws or federal policies.  (Think about former Vice President, Dick Cheney and his conflict of interest in and financial benefits from Halliburton.  How was he able to evade accountability to even current federal laws regarding conflict of interest, quid pro quo, and revolving door prohibitions?    Halliburton coincidentally has moved its headquarters recently to Dubai.  Perhaps, now we know why.)

Recently an article in the Washington Post presented the concept of a new proposed Financial Protection Agency.  If the U.S. Government is going to tackle protecting Americans’ financial matters, they will have to include the problem of Hidden Treuhand, for what are becoming increasingly obvious reasons.  The corrupt and unethical business practices are not just an isolated American problem, but expand across the globe.

Due to the complicated financial dealings leading to our recent financial meltdown of the “Too Big to Fails” our pensions and 401 K’s are already at risk.  Think about Madoff and the huge sums he stole from the retirement accounts of Americans either directly or indirectly.  If Madoff used a Hidden Treuhand, there is little hope all those millions of dollars will ever be openly discovered and identified, let alone recovered.   

I don’t know about you, but the possibility of my retirement funds being siphoned off and shuffled around in secret hidden corporate accounts that no one can see or audit and that I will never see again is enough to get me writing letters and demanding change.  For anyone concerned about the safety and security of American consumers and their financial affairs, this book is a must read!   In fact, this book should immediately be required reading for all U.S. Federal Oversight authorities too.

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The Shadow of “Hidden Treuhand” on Oversight, even the proposed Financial Protection Agency:  Can we be protected from the invisible?

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Shelley A. Stark has written a book, Hidden Treuhand:  How Corporations and Individuals Hide Assets and Money.  Shelly Stark is a Whistleblower.  She has dared to expose an organized and secret system of hiding money and assets that has been going on to some degree for a long period of history, but that few average people know exists.  What Ms. Stark is writing about has been a very closely guarded secret prior to now.  Due to becoming aware of the Hidden Treuhand, because of being victimized by its use on herself by some business partners, Ms. Stark started what turned out to be five years of hard investigation and research to find out what had happened to her.   Ms. Stark has the economic education and training, intellect, and courage to have tackled this previously secret resource which large corporations and wealthy individuals have known about and had access to for a long time.  Her work also required copious amounts of research into the history of the practice of Treuhands, hidden or not, and translating masses of German/Austrian law records. 

 

I began communicating with Ms. Stark a few months ago, and I am happy to say her book is now on the shelves of bookstores and is available at Amazon.com.  I believe Americans will be most interested in this book.  It is a huge piece of the problem we are having holding corporations or individuals accountable to our laws.  I believe it is a key issue in most areas we’re now experiencing financial corruption and fraud.  I am sending you the article from the Washington Post I read today regarding the idea of a new Financial Protection Agency and my comments pointing out there is even more to worry about than they think.  I believe it is very important to make knowlege of the Hidden Treuhand, how it works, and how some entities are using it, widespread among American citizens.  If the U.S. Government is going to tackle protecting Americans’ financial matters, they will have to include the problem of Hidden Treuhands.  Shelly Stark’s book is a welcome start to your foray into this newly realized area of criminal activity ( in the U.S.) and legal but unethical activity ( in Austria, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Dubai and others)

 

G. Florence Scott

 

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From The Washington Post

 

Link to Original:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/16/AR2009071604078.html?wpisrc=newsletter&wpisrc=newsletter&wpisrc=newsletter

 

 

Consumer Groups Praise Idea of Financial Protection Agency

By Brady Dennis
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 17, 2009

The Obama administration’s push to create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, the subject of sharp criticism from many in the financial and business world, found a chorus of support on Capitol Hill yesterday as consumer advocates praised the proposal in testimony before the House Financial Services Committee.

“It targets the most significant underlying causes of the massive regulatory failures that have harmed millions of Americans,” said Travis Plunkett, legislative director for the Consumer Federation of America.

The administration envisions a new agency with broad powers to oversee a range of financial products, from mortgages to credit cards. The idea is to help safeguard Americans against deceptive and abusive lending practices that contributed to the current crisis.

But the proposal has encountered stiff resistance from financial and business interests, most recently on Wednesday, when critics told the same House panel that a new agency would add another layer of government regulation, increase costs, stifle innovation and curtail choices for consumers.

Consumer advocates yesterday could not have disagreed more.

“They’ve offered an elaborate defense of the status quo,” Plunkett said.

Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, compared the need to regulate financial products to regulation of other consumer products.

“We regulate toasters to make sure they don’t catch fire. We’re not banning toasters,” he said. “We’re simply saying they have to be safe.”

Mierzwinski, Plunkett and others are part of a sizeable coalition that has formed to fight financial industry groups and others whom they regard as trying to undermine the administration’s efforts to overhaul the current regulatory system. The alliance, which calls itself Americans for Financial Reform, includes a collection of nearly 200 consumer, labor and civil rights organizations. It has created a Web site, OurFinancialSecurity.org, and has undertaken aggressive outreach to try to persuade lawmakers and boost grass-roots support.

Earlier this week, the coalition staged protests at banks and local chambers of commerce across the country to support the new consumer agency.

And yesterday its members took their message back to Capitol Hill.

Consumer protection failures are “very much the root of the crisis we find ourselves in today,” said Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. “When regulators are financially dependent on the institutions they police, consumer interests will always be squeezed out.” The proposed new agency, she said, “will break this pattern.”

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Comment: 

Yes, things have reached such a state that I believe something very definite must be done to stop the corruption and ill use of the American public’s finances and economic future.   It is abundantly clear that industry cannot police itself and that ethics are in a real crisis in government and industry.  

 

Sadly, the problems described in Mr. Dennis’s article only scratch the surface of the economic swamp.  A new book on a venerable and growing secret financial strategy, the Hidden Treuhand has just been made visible by Shelley A. Stark.   Her book, Hidden Treuhand: How Corporations and Individuals Hide Assets and Money, is now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other booksellers.   

 

In her book, Stark explains that this type of financial and legal strategy is not legal in the U.S., but is legal in certain countries in Europe (Austria, Lichtenstein, Switzerland) and is spreading to other regions (Dubai) making it possible for a lot of manipulation and corrupt dealings to take place, with the public having no inkling it is happening to their money and assets.  It is possible for a corporation or certain officers of a corporation to hide money, assets, and even people and other money payoffs to people using these Hidden Treuhands, potentially keeping the Hidden Treuhand and everything put into it, secret even from their own board of directors. 

 

And although the practice is not legal in the United States, all a corporation needs to do is open a subsidiary in a country, which does offer legal Hidden Treuhands and they are good to go.   They can now thwart any government oversight, auditors and investigators, rules and regulations, such as in conflict of interest.  (Ask yourself about Cheney and his interest and financial benefits from Halliburton who coincidentally has moved its headquarters recently to Dubai.  Now we know why.)

 

Due to the complicated financial dealings leading to our recent financial meltdown of the “Too Big to Fails” our pensions and 401 K’s are already at risk.  I don’t know about you, but the possibility of my retirement funds being siphoned off and shuffled around in secret hidden corporate accounts that no one can see or audit and that I will never see again is enough to get me writing letters and demanding change.  For anyone concerned about the safety and security of American consumers and their financial affairs, this book is a must read!   In fact, this book should immediately be required reading for all U.S. Federal Oversight authorities too.

 

-GFS