Mary, Mary, No Longer So Contrary

One of the best ways to protect wealth you simply can't afford to lose in a frivolous lawsuit is with an offshore trust.

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Don’t Be the Next Victim in the “Lawsuit Lottery”

A friend and colleague—and a very successful trial lawyer—assures me "there are no frivolous lawsuits."  I believe him, too, at least with respect to the cases he accepts.  Unfortunately, many other lawsuits can only be described as frivolous.

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Warrantless Eavesdropping: Goodbye, Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, ..."

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“Exit Tax” Becomes Law

The United States now has officially joined the ranks of Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia by enacting its first-ever "exit tax."  President George W. Bush signed the legislation--passed unanimously last month by both the House and Senate--into law yesterday, June 17.

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Is Your Safety Deposit Box a Crime Scene?

On June 2, more than 300 heavily armed police simultaneously raided three private vaults in London, all owned by Safe Deposit Centres Ltd.  Subsequently, police arrested two of the South-African born owners of the company on suspicion of money laundering and related charges.

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The IRS and its Sneaky International Tax Tricks

Recent high-profile prosecutions of wealthy tax evaders have made headlines worldwide.  What isn't well known, though, are the new ways tax authorities obtain financial data to unearth tax evasion.

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Keeping the Slaves on the Plantation

The United States is the only major country that imposes tax on a citizen's worldwide income, no matter where that citizen lives.

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IRS: “137 Pages of Utter Scandal”

Think you can count on the IRS to be "fair" when it comes to determining your tax liability?  Think again. In an extraordinary decision, the U.S. Tax Court recently ordered the IRS to pay back approximately $30 million collected in a tax shelter case dating back to the 1980s.

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Why U.S. Investors are “Public Enemy #1” at Offshore Banks

"It's not you, it's your government." It was a brilliant autumn day in October 2007. I was having lunch on Vienna's Ringstrasse with a vice-president of one of Austria's leading private banks.

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Diplomatic Passport Scams Return

A diplomatic passport is the "Nirvana" of international travel. Once you receive diplomatic status from a recognized government, you may be eligible to enjoy the privileges granted diplomats under international treaty.

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Will the Panama Real Estate Boom Ever End?

Greetings from the Sheraton Hotel and Convention Center in Panama City. I'm writing this post from my hotel room, which is directly across the street from a construction zone.

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Is Anything a Secret in the UK?

No, I don't have anything against the United Kingdom.  And I realize that only last week I wrote about how local authorities are using anti-terrorism laws to prosecute dog owners for not cleaning up dog poop

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A Moment of Panic

I pride myself on being prepared for just about anything when it comes to my laptop PC.  I've successfully recovered my data after dropping it on a concrete floor, shorting out the keyboard, and corrupting the hard drive.

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Feds to U.S. Border-Crossers: We Own Your Laptop

It's bad enough that when you cross a U.S. border, you must consent to an intrusive search of your luggage.  But now, courtesy of a decision from a federal appeals court, the government also has the right to copy everything on your laptop—and use it for whatever purpose it seems fit.

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For Sale in Thailand: Girls, Guns,…and Fake Passports

If you've got the money, and know where to look, just about anything you want—legal or illegal—is available in Bangkok. In recent years, Thai police have cracked down against trade in drugs, prostitution, and weapons.

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UK: Anti-Terrorism Law Used to Investigate Dog Poop

As wacky as some of the anti-terrorist initiatives that I've written about in the good ol' USA, they don't hold a candle to those advanced in the United Kingdom.

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Feds Put Billionaire Expat on No-Fly List

Each year, a few hundred Americans give up their U.S. nationality and passport.  It's a radical step, not to be taken lightly.  Most of those that do so have foreign-sounding names, as indicated by the list of expatriates published quarterly in the Federal Register.

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Government Stings: How not to Get Stung

Could you be arrested for stomping your foot in a restroom? Prosecuted for accepting "hot money?" Or imprisoned for clicking your mouse on a hyperlink that pops up in your Internet browser?

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Science Arrives in New Jersey Courtrooms

Trial lawyers in New Jersey, beware.  The state Supreme Court has ruled that a trial judge can determine whether evidence submitted is "scientifically reliable," or not.

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Your Cat May Make You a Terrorist Suspect

In these halcyon post-9/11 days, we've learned apparently innocent actions can instantly convert us from "law-abiding Americans" into "terrorist suspects."

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The USA Declares War on Iran

No, there haven't been any nuclear missiles launched, at least not yet.  No mobilization of U.S. forces on Iran's border. But on March 20, the United States launched the equivalent of an invasion of Iran, in the world of global finance.

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Don’t Go to Jail to Protect Your Assets

Asset protection isn't a game.  It's not something to do casually, either.  Do it right, or you risk losing your assets…or occasionally, being imprisoned for your efforts.

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Did the USA Outsource Passports to Terrorists?

It's almost unbelievable, but it's true.  The U.S. government outsources key aspects of the production of its supposedly ultra-secure electronic passports, to numerous foreign countries. 

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