Bank of Bitcoin critic, Peter Schiff, under investigation in tax probe

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A Puerto Rico-based bank founded by gold bug and long-time bitcoin critic Peter Schiff is under investigation over suspicions it facilitated tax evasion for “high-risk” users, reported in the U.S. and Australian news.
As it was reported on Saturday by several large media organizations in Australia and the U.S., Schiff’s Euro Pacific Bank has become the focus of a major global tax evasion investigation dubbed “Operation Atlantis.”
Several account holders at the bank, including 100 Australians considered “high risk,” are being investigated over possible tax evasion and money laundering.
They include Simon Anquetil, who was behind major Australian tax fraud Plutus Payroll, and Australian entrepreneur and movie financier, Darby Angel, who has previously been convicted for drug trafficking.
“People can be investigated for all sorts of reasons doesn’t mean they did anything wrong,” Schiff said in a fiery interview with 60 Minutes Australia. “I’m not allowed to discuss it.”
The investigation is said to be seeking the lawyers, accountants, and financial firms that helped connect customers to Euro Pacific too.
Initiated by the U.K., the U.S., Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands, Operation Atlantis has started looking into Euro Pacific since January of this year.
This investigation was established by the countries’ top tax officials, known as the “Joint Five,” after it was discovered tax authorities were less than equipped to deal with the revelations arising from the “Panama Papers” scandal.
According to The Age, the bank’s former IT director, John Ogilvie, also said that data security was poor, putting Euro Pacific clients’ financial information at risk.
He added his computer had been hacked several times and that Russian bad actors had tried to extort a ransom of 1,000 bitcoin from the bank.
A huge 2016 leak of documents, the Panama Papers said how some of the world’s wealthiest individuals and firms have been hiding money and evading tax in off-shore accounts.
Schiff has long been a critic of bitcoin, going so far as to describe those that promote the crypto as “frauds,” in a tweet on May 9.
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