03 June 2021
Her Majesty's Attorney General has worked with the United States Department of Justice in repatriating just under $1m to the US Treasury in the case of Ivan Scott Butler, an Alabama salesman convicted in the US of tax evasion.
Mr Butler was an automobile industry consultant and sold automobile warranties. Rather than receiving his sales compensation directly he used two Nevada registered nominee corporations to conceal receipt of his income. He did not file tax returns or pay any taxes and in about 1999 he began to move money into multiple Swiss insurance annuities through a Swiss asset manager. From 2008 he started purchasing precious metals as another method of concealing assets.
In around 2013 Butler began to be pressured by his Swiss custodians to disclose his accounts in accordance with US reporting and disclosure requirements. He took steps to convert his Swiss assets to precious metals.
The US Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Alabama and the US Department of Justice Tax Division secured a conviction against Butler for the evasion of in excess of $1m. On 27 October 2020, he was sentenced to 24 months' imprisonment in Alabama. He was ordered to pay restitution of US$1,093,400 in taxes and US$290,366.07 in interest. He further owed US$1.2M in tax penalties which he agreed to pay in accordance with a civil tax settlement.
During the commission of this crime, Butler placed precious metals with Goldmoney Wealth Limited in Jersey. He admitted he used Goldmoney to conceal assets for which he did not file or pay any US taxes and the US Authorities sent a formal Request to the Attorney General asking for assistance with a voluntary repatriation.
With the consent of the Joint Financial Crime Unit of the States of Jersey police the sum of US$983,107.54 was repatriated to the US Treasury in May 2021.
Attorney General Mark Temple QC said: "The exemplary work carried out by the Mutual Legal Assistance Team of the Law Officers' Department and the Jersey Financial Crimes Unit demonstrates that the Jersey authorities are eager to work with overseas agencies and that the Island is no place to hide from the tax authorities of any jurisdiction."