As many of you know, my opinion of using “secrecy” as part of an asset protection plan is NOT favorable. Some of my most popular newsletters were the ones I created on the villain in the asset protection planning world, Bill Reed (who uses secrecy as an asset protection tool).
For those who did not have a chance to read my newsletters on Bill Reed, I explained how Bill’s company, Asset Protection Group (APG), was built on the faulty asset protection strategy of having clients move their money to a NV, LLC which would own Bearer Shares. Mr. Reed would be listed as the executive for the company. For my newsletter about Bill Reed and the APG, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why would a client implement such a strategy? The theory goes that with Bearer Shares, if you don’t have them in your physical possession, you don’t technically own them. This is a sham and clients would have to perjure themselves when asked under oath what asset they “owned.” Additionally, by naming Mr. Reed as the executive, if creditors did a search to try and “find” a client’s assets, they would not be able to determine who really owned a NV corporation.
It sounds crazy doesn’t it and it does not work to protect assets. What’s crazier is that Mr. Reed packaged his asset protection strategies and charged $9,800 to advisors (nearly 2,000 of them) who paid to learn the strategies and use Mr. Reed’s services.
To make a long story shot, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has gone after Mr. Reed (who by the way was disbarred in CO for dishonest conduct) and the APG for duping advisors into paying $9,800 to learn and use his services and that of his company. The APG is now run by an appointed receiver who is trying to unravel the mess which surrounds the APG, its clients, and the duped advisors.
Also interesting to note is that the APG is being sued through a class action suit by the duped advisors to recover their $9,800 fee. I can proudly state that the attorney representing the duped investor class is Randall Edwards, JD, Co-Founder of the Asset Protection Society.
Nevada Secrecy Laws
Thanks to the Bill Reeds of the world, the IRS, FTC, DEA and many other federal organizations are taking a closer look at whether the corporation/LLC secrecy laws in states like NV, WY, DE, etc. should be changed.
A recent USA Today article really prompted me to write on this topic this week. Kevin McCoy wrote under the headline “Corporate Owners Hide Assets, Identities,” a very interesting article explaining further the atmosphere surrounding the change in attitude towards “secrecy” laws. To read Mr. McCoy’s article, please click here (look to the bottom of the page).
The article pointed out that the use of secret corporations seem to be a tool used by everyone from tax evaders to ponzi scheme artists to money launderers. Additionally, an IRS report issued last November cited Nevada as one of the jurisdictions most commonly used by “non-filers, fraudulent taxpayers, abusive promoters and under-reporters” to evade taxes. This report is a very interesting read and if you would like to read the report, please click here (look to the bottom of the page).
Because of the new scrutiny being given to “secrecy” laws, it is my opinion and that of others that the days of “secret” corporate entities will soon come to a close. When that day comes, it will be a good day for everyone because promoters of sham asset protection structures using secret NV, WY, DE, etc. companies (coupled with Bearer Shares or not) will no longer be an available option.
What’s the moral of this story?
Have you ever heard the statement: “if it doesn’t smell right……”
Using sham NV corporations for secrecy never smelled right. There are legitimate reasons to use NV, DE, WY, AK, LLCs for asset protection and estate planning purposes. One of those purposes should not be to “hide” assets.
While this is not a how to implement a proper domestic asset protection planning newsletter, if you are interested in learning legitimate ways to protect your assets and that of your clients domestically, please click here to read more (look to the bottom of the page).
The moral of this story is to stay away from concepts that do not pass your smell test. Life is too short for such scams.
A special thanks to Randall Edwards, JD for his contributions to this newsletter.
Roccy DeFrancesco, JD, CWPP™, CAPP™
Founder, The Wealth Preservation Institute
Co-Founder, The Asset Protection Society
378 River Run Dr.
St. Joseph, MI 49085
Are you a CWPP™ or CAPP™? To learn more about the CWPP™ and CAPP™ certification courses and how to take your consulting to the “next level” go to www.thewpi.org.
Author of The Doctor’s Wealth Preservation Guide which can be purchased for $49.95 from The WPI at email@example.com.