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Offshore centres no longer the 'Wild West' but red flags remain, conference hears

Nov 28 2012 Martin Coyle, Compliance Complete

Offshore financial centres are no longer the Wild West "anything goes" jurisdictions they used to be but there are a number of red flags surrounding frauds perpetuated in these countries, a conference has heard. David Marchant, the owner of OffshoreAlert, told delegates at the OffshoreAlert Conference yesterday that although the offshore world had changed since the days when the same old people perpetuated the same old scams, certain issues still remained. "There is still a laissez faire attitude," he warned. Marchant identified some red flags which financial institutions should look for before investing in offshore corporate vehicles. He suggested, for example, that any entity guaranteeing high returns was "basically perpetuating a fraud" and added that he had never seen a penny stock scheme that was not a fraudulent scheme. Marchant told delegates that another red flag was owners who named their companies or funds after themselves. Allen Stanford, Bernie Madoff, Marc Harris, all

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