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Delaware office address at centre of crime wave

Published on Sunday, April 18, 2010 Email To Friend    Print Version


David Marchant,
OffshoreAlert’s publisher

When it comes to offering shell companies for foreign nationals who use them to commit an array of serious financial crimes, one office address stands out by a country mile, financial newsletter OffshoreAlert reports.

However, it’s not in the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands or any of the other offshore financial centres (OFCs) that have been much-maligned by politicians in the world’s major countries.

Ironically, OffshoreAlert points out, this one is in the country that is front and centre in the attacks on OFCs – the United States of America. Specifically, the address in question is Suite 606, 1220 North Market Street, Wilmington, Delaware – home of a business called American Incorporators Ltd.

On its website, American Incorporators boasts that it is “one of the largest incorporating service companies in the United States”, claims that it is “dedicated to the highest business standards” and highlights its membership in the Better Business Bureau.

“Headquartered in corporate-friendly Wilmington, Delaware, American Incorporators has been providing entrepreneurs, business owners and their advisors worldwide with low cost incorporating services since 1991,” the website states.

However, OffshoreAlert says, the calibre of many of these “entrepreneurs” and “business owners” is evident from numerous requests for international judicial assistance that have been made to the US Department of Justice by the authorities of eastern European countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Estonia as part of criminal investigations into fraud, tax evasion, bribery, corruption and even murder.

“Over the last decade, at least 40 such requests have been made about shell companies located at Suite 606, 1220 North Market Street,” says David Marchant, publisher of OffshoreAlert, which monitors the filings each month and has an extensive database of them.

“The number of times this address appears in requests for judicial assistance is remarkable. It comes up much more than any other address by a long, long way,” he says.

While campaigning for the presidency of the United States, Barack Obama described an address in the Cayman Islands as the “biggest building in the world or the biggest tax scam in the world”, citing the number of shell corporations that exist there.

“Based on evidence accumulated by OffshoreAlert, however, that label is more fitting for this address in Delaware,” says Mr Marchant.

“As offshore financial centres are to the USA, so Delaware is to eastern Europe.”

A session on how Delaware is used by criminals to commit illegal activity will take place at The 8th Annual OffshoreAlert Financial Due Diligence Conference, in Association with Grant Thornton, at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach in Florida on May 2-4, 2010. The session, which will be presented by attorneys Jack Blum and Fred Abrams, will also take a look at two other crime-friendly US jurisdictions – Wyoming and Nevada.

Full details about this year’s OffshoreAlert Conference can be found at www.OffshoreAlertConference.com
 
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