America’s primary banks, including Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America have also invested in some of these offshore firms.
Stephen Harper, Canada’s former prime minister, has announced an “emergency financial system review” following reports that tens of millions of dollars in Canadian tax dollars were funneled to unnamed shell companies set up by high-profile firm Sevan Marine.
“It’s a deliberate attempt to hide money, to evade taxation, and it’s wrong,” said Harper, who served as Prime Minister from 2006 to 2015.
It’s also illegal. Eighteen years ago, the Canadian Parliament imposed a windfall tax on assets held offshore by the wealthiest Canadians with a net worth over $1 million. The provision was intended to encourage “tax acumen” in the finance sector and direct funds toward “more productive investment in the Canadian economy.”