Tom to ‘fly Isle of Man flag’ with Wolf of Wall St captor
Law firm boss Tom Maher has been invited to be a speaker at a prestigious conference alongside the FBI special agent who caught the notorious ‘Wolf of Wall Street.’
He will also share the platform with a host of other newsworthy people in the business world including the whistleblower who blew the lid on the HSBC tax evasion storm in Switzerland.
Tom is managing partner of DQ, a leading island law firm, based in Mount Pleasant, Douglas. Together with fellow partner Annemarie Hughes and head of regulatory and compliance services Sinead O’Connor, Tom oversees the firm’s specialist investigations team.
And tomorrow (Wednesday) he, Annemarie and Sinead will be joined by fellow DQ advocate Adam Killip as they host a special conference in Gibraltar.
It is a repeat of a ‘landmark’ day-long conference on global tax enforcement held in the island at the Villa Marina, Douglas, last July.
Before heading for Gibraltar Tom told Business News he was once again delighted to be ‘flying the flag’ for the Isle of Man at these highly distinguished international events.
He repeated his belief that it is important for island companies to be aware of their responsibilities in promoting and pushing the island’s interests.
Tom told Business News that he felt privileged to be invited to be a speaker in May at the 13th annual Offshore Alert conference in Miami Beach, Florida on the subject of tax investigations.
He said: ‘This event draws world-class speakers so it is a great honour to be there as a speaker.’
Fellow speaker Gregory Coleman, retired special agent, FBI, from New York was responsible for the criminal investigation of Jordan Belfort.
Belfort’s rise to power and subsequent arrest and conviction were chronicled in the Academy Award winning film The Wolf of Wall Street.
It was directed by Martin Scorsese and starred Leonardo DiCaprio. Mr Coleman is portrayed in the movie by Kyle Chandler.
Hervé Daniel Marcel Falciani is a Franco-Italian systems engineer and whistleblower who since 2009 has been collaborating with numerous European nations by providing information relating to more than 130,000 suspected tax evaders with Swiss bank accounts – specifically those with accounts in HSBC’s Swiss subsidiary HSBC Private Bank.
Falciani is the person behind the ‘Lagarde list’, so called as it is a list of HSBC clients who allegedly used the bank to evade taxes and launder money that Falciani leaked to ex-French Minister of Finance Christine Lagarde, currently the managing director of the International Monetary Fund.
David Marchant, owner and Editor, OffshoreAlert, says in his overview to the Miami event between May 3 and May 5:‘When asked to describe The OffshoreAlert Conference for a profile that was published in The Wall Street Journal in 2009, prominent U.S.-based attorney Jack Blum said: “It’s like that famous bar in Star Wars, where they all come together – the good guys, the bad guys, the seriously guilty – and they all exchange information on neutral territory.”
‘It’s my favourite description of our event because it’s spot on. To your right might be an offshore provider; on your left, an asset recovery specialist; behind you, a regulator or law enforcement agent; and in front, a client contemplating a multi-million dollar business decision. No other conference attracts such an eclectic group – people who ordinarily wouldn’t meet other than in a court-room. And they’re all high-flyers, too’.
Tom and his team have advised on many international investigations involving offshore companies and trusts including attending formal interviews as advisor both in the Isle of Man and internationally, most commonly in the US.
Tom appeared in the very first contested appeal before the Isle of Man Financial Services Appeal Tribunal and together with Annemarie, Sinead and Adam regularly advises clients on regulatory compliance, supervisory investigations and enforcement.
They are regular speakers internationally at conferences and seminars on topics such as global tax investigations, offshore trusts and AML/POCA investigations. Tom also acts as an expert witness on matters of Isle of Man law in international litigation.
Tom, Annemarie and Sinead sit on a number of government committees and are regular contributors to legal journals and publications.
Tom has been a regular delegate at the OffshoreAlert Conference in London, but this is his first time at the Miami event.
Tom spoke to Business spoke as the DQ team prepared to fly out for the high-ranking global tax enforcement conference in Gibraltar tomorrow (Wednesday)
Tom told Business News: ‘I am delighted to say that we have been invited by the Gibraltar Association of Compliance Officers (GACO) and the Gibraltar Funds and Investments Association (GFIA) to run the conference in Gibraltar.
‘We are hosting the conference again with our friends from the Washington office of global law firm Latham and Watkins in Gibraltar.
‘We are also delighted to have another senior IRS speaker Clarissa Balmaseda (attaché US Embassy London) and two HMRC tax investigation specialists from Pinsent Masons (leading London and international law firm).
‘Interestingly, when I was down in the US Embassy in London earlier this month meeting Clarissa again, Secretary of State John Kerry walked in with me (although his seven secret service agents did not let me get too close!)
‘This shows that DQ is continuing to expand this area of practice and raise its profile internationally as a tax investigation specialist firm.’
The goal of the Gibraltar conference is to provide delegates with an understanding of how international governments pursue tax investigations, what best practices they can implement on a ‘going forward’ basis and the implications of various strategies for handling and meeting the challenges of an investigation.
‘The ultimate purpose is to demystify tax investigations so that when an enforcement proceeding begins, a feeling of rational calmness will replace what otherwise would have been anxiety and a creeping sense of panic.’
Tom said the international nature of some of DQ’s business was growing all the time.
OffshoreAlert is an independent news website founded in 1997 by investigative reporter David Marchant and offers news, documents and intelligence about businesses and individuals operating in offshore financial centres, with an emphasis on fraud investigations. OffshoreAlert is generally considered to be a leading authority on serious financial crime.