Asset Protection Strategy – Why Offshore Banks

Offshore banking provides a layer of asset protection against real and devastating events such as litigation and asset forfeiture.

June 6, 2022

By: Bobby Casey, Managing Director GWP

asset protection The world has a tremendous amount of good things to offer. Wonderful things like great food, cool people, rich history, incredible natural phenomena, fun facts, thrilling adventures… the list can go forever. The vast majority of the people I’ve met lean into all this and more.

But there are a small number of real jerks that can ruin it for the rest of us. Like that one kid who would act up in class, that lead to everyone missing recess in grade school.

Crimes happen. Sometimes, if the government is doing it, they aren’t even considered crimes at all! But when we fall victim to criminal activity, the conversations that emerge from those tragedies do two things: 1. Rightly blame the perpetrator for committing the crime, but also 2. Absolve the victim of any responsibility.

It’s a very tender topic. No one wants to hear how a crime was preventable on the part of victim. It’s considered victim blaming, right?

When I would take my bike out as a kid, my dad used to warn me to look both ways twice: once when you come to the intersection and once when you’re about to go through it. No matter how green the light, you still look. Why? Because there’s no point in being right and dead. Better to be smart and alive.

It’s a grim lesson, but it was an early introduction to the responsibility I had for my own safety and well-being. I was taught to own that.

Today we hear people delusionally say: “People shouldn’t HAVE TO _____! Just teach would-be criminals NOT TO do ______ in the first place!”

Fill in the blanks.

People shouldn’t have to lock their doors! Just teach would-be robbers not to steal in the first place.

People shouldn’t have to learn self-defense! Just teach would-be assailants not to assault people in the first place!”

Okay, but people do rob and people do assault… so what’s the better play? To be prepared to defend yourself? Or wait until we teach people not to be criminals… since that seems to be going really well so far?

It’s not about whether bad things SHOULD happen. Of course they shouldn’t! It’s about whether they DO happen. And of course they do. Depending on who you are, where you are, and the circumstances some bad things are more likely than others.

Three of the largest threats to wealth are lawsuits, civil asset forfeiture, and of course, taxes. These three things are coursing through the veins of society wiping out billions in wealth.

Are you in a highly litigious jurisdiction? These are the top ten:

  • Germany

  • Sweden

  • Israel

  • Austria

  • United States

  • UK

  • Denmark

  • Hungary

  • Portugal

  • France

The article goes on to say:

According to the Norton Rose Fulbright’s 2015 Litigation Trends Annual Survey, which was conducted by Acritas, respondents in the USA did report a more litigious business environment than their peers located in other nations. The President of the US, Donald Trump sets the trend in this regard. Figures indicate that 55% of US businesses had more than 5 lawsuits filed against their companies in the previous 12 months. This compares with 23% of companies in the UK and 22% of companies in Australia. In the UK, cross-border disputes are on the increase, with regulatory legal disputes featuring prominently. 48% of respondents in the UK had been involved in litigation involving these issues.

If you find you are in a litigious jurisdiction, creating some distance between you and your wealth is imperative. Even if you cannot necessarily follow, moving your wealth offshore makes a lot of sense. It’s not that it prevents lawsuits, but according to the public records they typically pull, an offshore account wouldn’t pop up.

It’s for those same reasons, moving some of your wealth offshore can provide a layer of protection against civil asset forfeiture, especially if you are in the US.

Asset forfeiture is a euphemism for government sanctioned robbery. I often refer to taxation as theft. It is in the sense that the government is taking wealth you otherwise would not have volunteered to them with the threat of violence to back it up.

However, with taxes, you generally know what to expect. You see the sales tax itemized on the receipt. You know a local and federal tax is built into the cost of fuel. Income taxes are done in brackets. You know it’s coming and you have an idea of what it will be.

Asset forfeiture, on the other hand, gives no warning. It’s like a tornado. It’s coming through your life and it’s going to wreck some stuff.

The premise under which the assets are seized is that they suspect the property is connected in some way to either ill-gotten gains or a criminal act such as something to do with drugs. In civil forfeiture, the property — not the person — is on trial.

They can merely suspect this, and take what you have. Here’s the example of Nassir Geiger:

Nassir’s troubles began when he stopped to say hello to a friend at a McDonald’s in northeast Philadelphia. What Nassir didn’t know was that the friend had just been arrested for drug possession. A few minutes after ending the conversation and driving away, Nassir was pulled over. His car was searched and although no drugs or even drug residue were found, the officers seized the car and $580 cash because they found empty ziplock bags.

The police gave Nassir a receipt for only $465 rather than the full amount taken and no receipt for his car. Nassir’s court-appointed attorney recommended that he take a plea deal that would result in a clear record if he paid a $200 fine and completed 20 hours of community service. This plea deal didn’t include the government taking his car or cash, so Nassir thought he would get both back. He was wrong.

The police dragged out the case which racked up $1800 in impound fees, all the while forcing Nassir to be without a car to get to work. He financed another car because the 45 minute commute via the public transportation system wasn’t working out.

There are no judges in these civil asset forfeiture courts either. It’s just prosecutors.

The probable cause to go after Nassir was weak to begin with, but that’s how quickly it can happen. Keeping as little in reach as possible for litigators and prosecutors to seize will stand you in good stead. Part of the reason why asset forfeiture disproportionately affects the poor is because they can’t afford any recourse.

They can’t afford lawyers, time off work, or to even restructure the few assets they have. Having nothing to seize or freeze because you’ve removed your assets from that country is worth the effort of getting an offshore bank.

At the end of the day, lawsuits and seizures are like earthquakes and tornadoes. It’s not that they are happening all the time. It’s that when they do, the damage can be devastating. If you can institute even a small measure of protection, that could make a world of difference.

Having an offshore account puts a little distance between you and your assets, but you still remain in control and with access to it. Think of it as giving your wealth an alibi by expatriating it somewhere else.

Offshore banking should be looked like an additional layer of insurance to protect your assets from fiat disasters.  Bad things happen.  In the end, it’s better to be prepared and protected, than angry and violated.

Click here to get a copy of our Offshore Banking Report, or here to become a member of our Insider program where you are eligible for free consultations, deep discounts on corporate and trust services, plus a wealth of information on internationalizing your business, wealth and life.

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