As you may know, the goal of the APS is to “protect the public” and be an entity to fill the void that exists from Legal, Accounting, Financial, Mortgage etc, associations who have chosen not to step up and try to regulate the advice being given on the very important subject matter of Asset Protection. The APS hopes to set the standard of care for what is compliant or “good” asst protection planning and what is not.
Dear Valued Reader,
I constantly keep my eyes open for the many scams and scum bags floating around the internet that promote Asset Protection Products. I hate to tell you, but this problem is getting worse.
In this newsletter I’m going to give you some good news about one of the most notorious crooks as well as a few hints on how to spot the less sophisticated scammers who will not hesitate to take your money.
Here is the good news. David Alan Struckman, the director of the “Institute of Global Prosperity,” is now officially a felon. This news couldn’t be better. Mr. Struckman’s crime involved promoting, through a MLM structure, seminars and “common law” or “pure” trusts that are designed to eliminate U.S. tax liability. These trusts have been deemed illegal and ineffective by every Circuit Court in the U.S.,yet he continued to promote them and his followers continued to sell them. As I have mentioned in many earlier newsletters, pure trusts are a fraud and becoming involved with them will land you in jail. Every month I am contacted by at least one person on the verge of losing his or her assets to the IRS because of their participation in this junk. Remember, if something sounds too good to be true it probably is. Reread the last sentence.
Despite Mr. Struckman’s actions, he isn’t going to jail for selling junk trusts and ruining thousands of people’s lives. In my opinion he should be drawn and quartered. Just ask somebody who just lost his or her house if they agree. That would be the best outcome. Instead, this crook is going to jail for tax fraud. He collected over $45 million dollars from average American citizens and didn’t report the income. He used his same crappy illegal trusts to hide the money from the IRS. He was even arrogant enough to use debit cards to try and bring his dirty money back. But his plan didn’t work, and he is now facing 20 years in the slammer plus $1 million in fines, which is well deserved. He should have been reading my newsletter.
It is interesting to note that he was deported from Panama. The U.S. treats international tax scamming seriously. Richard Morrison, an assistant attorney general who was involved in arresting Struckman, summarized tax scamming in a nutshell: “People who sell or use these scams can expect serious trouble, including criminal charges.”
Believe me, the U.S. is actually a tax bargain. There are plenty of ways to cut taxes, but offshore trusts are not one of them.
How can you avoid scammers like Struckman? Simple: Use a little common sense. If you are a regular reader of this newsletter you already know that you are taxable on your worldwide income “from whatever source derived.” Avoid anybody promising to eliminate income taxes with simple trusts. Always involve your local lawyer or CPA. If you don’t have one, get one before you trust one of the many internet scammers. Avoid offshore debit cards. Run from anybody promising bank secrecy (it doesn’t exist in the post Patriot Act world). Avoid anybody promising secret corporate structures in NEVADA or any other State. In short, use common sense.
With all of this said, don’t forget that legitimate Asset Protection Planning and even using foreign trusts are both safe and very effective if done correctly. Just stay out of the hands of the many crooks out there.