Australian police call Peter Schiff's Euro Pacific bank a serious criminal threat


The Day the International Tax Authorities Came Knocking

By Charlotte Grieve, Nick McKenzie, and Joel Tozer
The Age, Melbourne, Australia
Sunday, October 18, 2020

On a sunny Friday in late January, investigators from the Australian Tax Office issued subpoenas and fired off letters as part of an unprecedented probe that reached around the world.

It was a similar scene in Amsterdam, where investigators from the Dutch tax agency set about a similar task. So too did investigators in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

While none of the millionaire tax dodgers targeted on January 24, including about 100 Australians, knew each other, they shared a bond: they were customers of a little-known Caribbean bank.

... Dispatch continues below ...


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The Euro Pacific Bank in Puerto Rico's capital San Juan was founded by American celebrity investor and business commentator Peter Schiff. The silver-haired and pugnacious businessman is worth an estimated $100 million. On major television networks, popular podcasts and his own YouTube channel, he reminds his audience he predicted the Global Financial Crisis. He also likes to warn people about the upcoming economic apocalypse from which they can take financial refuge in his "privacy assured" bank.

Schiff’s celebrity status is likely why some major Australian financial institutions, including Westpac and the Perth Mint, hopped into bed with the Euro Pacific Bank. They weren't alone. The New York Federal Reserve and Canada's Bank of Montreal both allowed their customers to transfer funds into the bank, cloaking it in an air of credibility it used to attract thousands of clients, including at least 400 from Australia. (About 100 are considered "high risk.")

But on January 24 Euro Pacific became the target of Operation Atlantis, the world's largest tax-evasion probe. Australia's deputy tax commissioner, Will Day, describes the inquiry as “unprecedented.”

An investigation by The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, and "60 Minutes" in collaboration with The New York Times can reveal that Operation Atlantis is examining the financial transactions of Euro Pacific's customers. Hundreds of account holders are now suspects in a tax evasion probe. ...

Other Australian policing agencies have joined the hunt. The nation's peak criminal intelligence agency, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, has listed Euro Pacific as an Australian Priority Organisation Target. This designates it as one of the most serious criminal threats to the nation's security. ...

... For the remainder of the report:

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