Tag Archives: Lawbird

Story by José Carlos Villanueva | eldiario.es
Antonio-Lawbird-Marbella-Luxemburgo-JCV_EDIIMA20140320_0701_13

El abogado Antonio Flores, responsable de Lawbird, durante la rueda de prensa que ha ofrecido este jueves en Marbella sobre la inversión en Luxemburgo de la alcaldesa / JCV

El responsable de la firma Lawbird, que destapó la inversión de Ángeles Muñoz en Luxemburgo, anima a la regidora a dar explicaciones públicas en lugar de denunciarle ante el Colegio de Abogados.

Antonio Flores sostiene que la operación de “ingeniería financiera” supondría el ahorro del 34% en el impuesto de sucesiones.

“Atribuimos a la alcaldesa la compra de un producto destinado a evadir impuestos”. Así de claro y contundente se ha mostrado este jueves el abogado Antonio Flores, responsable del bufete Lawbird, al corroborar la inversión de 3,1 millones de euros en una entidad bancaria de Luxemburgo en 2010 que llevó a cabo la sociedad Crasel Panorámica S.L.,  propiedad al cincuenta por ciento de la regidora marbellí, Ángeles Muñoz (PP).

Flores, que ha comparecido en rueda de prensa durante más de una hora, ha apuntado, como novedad, que el producto financiero suscrito con el banco luxemburgués Nordea Bank SA podría suponer para la alcaldesa y demás beneficiarios “un ahorro del 34%  sobre el impuesto de sucesiones”.

La sociedad de la alcaldesa contrató un crédito hipotecario de 3,1 millones sobre su mansión, tasada en 4,7 millones de euros en 2010. Se trata de un inmueble que nunca había tenido carga alguna desde que fue adquirido en 2003 por la alcaldesa y su marido, a través de una sociedad gibraltareña.

“Nosotros no acusamos, sino que atribuimos a la alcaldesa la compra de un producto para no pagar impuestos”. Al tratarse del impuesto de sucesiones, el jurista ha aclarado que “no se defrauda  hasta que uno fallece”. Así pues, sostiene que “la evasión de impuestos en grado de tentativa no es delito, otra cosa es la cuestión política en la que no entramos”, en alusión al escándalo generado en Marbella tras conocerse la operación de Luxemburgo.

Por si quedaba alguna duda sobre si la sociedad de la alcaldesa, ella o su marido tienen alguna cuenta bancaria en Luxemburgo Flores ha confirmado que “la tienen que tener, porque va asociada al producto que se ha contratado y allí se depositan los 3,1 millones de euros”. No obstante, ha concretado que “en torno al diez por ciento, unos 200.000 euros” del monto total, habrían sido entregados a los subscritores de la inversión.

Basándose en la publicidad que ofertaba Nordea Bank SA, denunciada ante la Agencia Tributaria española, el abogado ha descrito el proceder de la sociedad de Muñoz: “Crasel Panorámica contrata ese producto para reducir el valor de la vivienda, y para invertir el capital en Luxemburgo, como el banco lo tiene previsto”. Según los folletos que Flores ha mostrado “todo se ofertaba para reducir el impuesto de sucesiones en España”, ha insistido.

Así pues, una vez que la alcaldesa ha negado ser víctima del banco luxemburgués, al contrario que los clientes de Flores, el letrado ha dicho que no tiene “nada” de qué retractarse. Todo después de que la primera edil marbellí le instara a hacerlo a través de un requerimiento notarial.

Muñoz emprendió dichas acciones a raíz de las declaraciones que el letrado hizo a eldiario.es el pasado 2 de marzo en las que destapó la operación financiera de Crasel Panorámica S.L. en el citado paraíso fiscal. Previamente, Flores había informado de ello en la página web de los afectados por prácticas irregulares de Nordea Bank, representados por su bufete.

“No tengo por qué rectificar, cuando la propia alcaldesa declaró a eldiario.es que ella tiene un seguro de vida precisamente para poder hacer frente al impuesto de sucesiones”. De hecho, Muñoz insistió el pasado 2 de marzo, cuando este medio recabó su versión, en que “desgraciadamente, en Andalucía, mientras sigan gobernando los socialistas tendremos que tener un seguro de vida para hacer frente al impuesto de sucesiones”.

Al ser preguntado por la denuncia que ha interpuesto la regidora contra él, ante el Colegio de Abogados de Málaga, Flores ha respondido que “es una manera sucia de empañar la imagen de un abogado”. Argumenta que Ángeles Muñoz no ha acudido a los tribunales “porque una querella causa revuelo y hay que sacar muchos papeles”. Además, ha animado a la también presidenta de la FAMP a dar explicaciones públicamente en lugar de denunciarle.

Flores plantea dudas sobre el origen del patrimonio de la alcaldesa

Antonio Flores, que ha calificado de “operación de ingeniería financiera” la actuación llevada a cabo por la sociedad de la alcaldesa en Luxemburgo, sostiene que la situación de la munícipe del PP “no es aceptable para un cargo público”. Sobre todo-ha añadido- “cuando su vivienda particular (la mansión) tiene por el sur un préstamo hipotecario con Luxemburgo y al norte una sociedad gibraltareña”, en alusión a  la offshore Crasel Limited, mercantil a la que el matrimonio compró los 90.000 euros del capital social que tenía en Crasel Panorámica S.L.

Al hilo del argumento de la regidora sobre que ella tiene régimen de separación de bienes con su cónyuge, a Flores le sorprende que Ángeles Muñoz “tenga un patrimonio de cerca de 3,5 millones de euros, la mayoría del cual no está gravado con ninguna hipoteca, con los ingresos que ha podido declarar”.

A Muñoz “no se le conoce una actividad profesional o mercantil para tener ese patrimonio tan abultado. Tiene un sueldo relativamente alto pero no puede cubrir ciertos desembolsos que ha hecho”, esgrime el responsable de Lawbird.

En su declaración municipal de bienes, hecha en  junio de 2011, la regidora declaró 7.500 euros brutos mensuales como primera edil. Entre 2007 y 2011 cobró 55.742 euros brutos anuales como parlamentaria andaluza por Málaga.

“Si ocurre como dice la alcaldesa, que recibe trasvases de patrimonio de su marido, ella ha tenido que declararlo en el impuesto de donaciones, puesto que ambos están vivos, la realidad es que no se ha hecho así”, denuncia Flores.

Flores ha recordado, tal y como informó eldiario.es, que Muñoz adquirió la finca en la que se halla su mansión “a través de la compra venta de participaciones de una sociedad de Gibraltar”. En este punto sostiene lo siguiente: “sospechamos que se realizó por el valor del capital social, que fueron 90.000 euros”.

Si las obras de la mansión se hicieron una vez comprado el terreno “el sueldo de la alcaldesa no daba como para poder cubrir un desembolso de cerca de 2 millones de euros”, ha concluido el letrado.

Story by J. C. A. | Marbella 24 Horas

El abogado Antonio Flores, esta mañana en rueda de prensa.

El abogado Antonio Flores, que destapó las operaciones en Luxemburgo de Ángeles Muñoz, ha puesto esta mañana a la alcaldesa de Marbella contra las cuerdas a nivel político. En una larga rueda de prensa ha dicho que la regidora “compró un producto para no pagar impuestos”, que le podría suponer un ahorro del 34% en el impuesto de sucesiones. También la ha acusado de tener “incompleta” su declaración de bienes como cargo público y de “faltar a la verdad”.

Antonio Flores Vila, del bufete Lawbird Legal Services SL de Marbella, fue quien destapó, a través de las investigaciones que realizaba para una asociación de afectados por Nordea Bank S.A., las operaciones de la alcaldesa de Marbella en Luxembugo, que salieron a la luz pública a través de “Eldiario.es”.
Esta mañana, en una rueda de prensa de casi una hora, ha puesto contra las cuerdas a nivel político a la alcaldesa de Marbella. El letrado ha asegurado que Ángeles Muñoz “compró un producto para no pagar impuestos porque así lo refleja la publicidad de este banco”.
“No la acusamos de defraudar al fisco, algo que no se haría hasta que hubiese un fallecimiento y la evasión de impuestos en grado de tentativa no es un delito”, dijo, y añadió que la parcela en la que debe ofrecer explicaciones es en la “política”.
Flores sostiene que esta situación “no es aceptable para un cargo público”, sobre todo cuando su vivienda particular tiene “por el norte un préstamo hipotecario en un paraíso fiscal (Luxemburgo) y por el sur una sociedad gibraltareña, que es otro paraíso fiscal”.
El abogado ha centrado su rueda de prensa en explicar tres aspectos fundamentales. Por un lado, el producto que ha adquirido la alcaldesa en Luxemburgo, por otro que su declaración de bienes está incompleta y “no refleja la realidad”, y como último en defenderse de la denuncia que ha hecho el Ayuntamiento ante el Colegio de Abogados.
Respecto al primer asunto, ha considerado necesaria esta rueda de prensa para “desmentir” las afirmaciones de la alcaldesa sobre sus operaciones en Luxemburgo. “No son verdaderas, las explica de una forma sesgada y nadie termina de aclarar qué sucede”, ha dicho.
Según ha explicado, Nordea Bank S.A. es una entidad de Luxemburgo, que tiene una oficina de representación en Marbella y que se dedica a la planificación fiscal internacional. “Su objetivo es ayudar a la gente, de forma más o menos legal, a que tenga que pagar menos impuestos”, ha dicho.
“En España ofrecen un producto que, según dicen ellos en su publicidad, era para evitar legalmente el impuesto de sucesiones y de patrimonio, aunque esto no es cierto”, dijo.
Explicó que su bufete había planteado un pleito contra esta entidad por “publicidad engañosa” porque induce a la gente a pensar que “puede defraudar al fisco”.
Desde la asociación de afectados por Nordea Bank, según ha dicho, se solicitó a la Agencia Tributaria información sobre este producto y la respuesta fue que “utilizarlo para no pagar impuestos suponía una infracción tributaria”.
Antonio Flores ha explicado en qué consiste el producto contratado por la alcaldesa en Luxemburgo, como han hecho otros clientes de este banco. Ha relatado que consta de tres elementos: “una vivienda en España sin cargas, una hipoteca que te da el banco y una póliza de seguros de vida que está asociada a una cartera de inversiones”.
El letrado ha señalado que es “falso” que la póliza de seguros sea obligatoria porque hay una hipoteca, ya que existe “una prima única que se pagó al comienzo” y que en el caso de la regidora fue de 3,1 millones de euros. “Ese dinero, quizá un poco menos por los gastos, se queda en Luxemburgo”, sostuvo.
Según sostuvo, el banco anuncia que este producto funciona por dos motivos. “Porque dicen que la casa ya no vale 4,7 millones porque tiene una carga de 3,1 millones, y que en Luxemburgo se puede heredar ese dinero sin pagar impuestos, pero ambas afirmaciones son falsas”.
“Un préstamo hipotecario no sirve para reducir impuestos, si es para comprar la vivienda sí, pero no para sacar una hipoteca y guardarla en Luxemburgo y hablar de que tiene una carga”, explicó.
Por tanto, el letrado considera que no debe hacer ninguna rectificación, como le ha solicitado la alcaldesa, y recordó que la propia regidora confirmó en “Eldiario.es” el motivo de su inversión cuando dijo, textualmente, que “yo tengo un seguro de vida precisamente para poder hacer frente al impuesto de sucesiones. Desgraciadamente en Andalucía mientras sigan gobernando los socialistas tendremos que tener un seguro de vida para hacer frente al impuesto de sucesiones”.
“Es un producto que la sociedad Crasel Panorámica, de la que la alcaldesa tiene el 50%, contrata para reducir el valor de la vivienda, invertir el capital en Luxemburgo y, según la publicidad, reducir el impuesto”, concluyó.
Declaración de bienes
En la segunda parte de su rueda de prensa, sostuvo que la declaración de bienes de la alcaldesa como cargo público está “incompleta” y añadió que “no es cierto que todo esté declarado en ella”.
Flores señaló que, utilizando las notas simples de las viviendas que están a nombre de Ángeles Muñoz o de sociedades de las que es copropietaria, aparecen ocho fincas registrales, cuatro a su nombre y el resto al de las empresas en las que participa al 50%.
En su declaración de bienes “no figura la póliza de seguros, ni el crédito hipotecario, y faltan algunos bienes como una vivienda en Monachil (Granada) y otra en La Quinta Hills”.
Consideró que este documento, que se puede consultar en la web del Ayuntamiento, está “sesgado, no sé si de forma malintencionada, pero no es veraz”.
“Esto es algo que tiene que divulgar ella, pero como considera que nosotros la injuriamos, hemos decidido relacionar lo que ella declara con la verdad”, dijo.
“No somos políticos, ella decidirá si pone al día esta declaración o la completa”, señaló, y añadió que, además, es de “muy difícil interpretación”.
“Pone que tiene participaciones por valor de 44.000 euros en una sociedad que tiene detrás una mansión de 4,7 millones, entonces se la compramos, no refleja la realidad”, sostuvo.
Flores fue más allá y dijo que a la alcaldesa “no se le conoce una actividad mercantil”, por lo que “llama la atención que tenga un patrimonio tan abultado”.Además, considera que, si lo relaciona con el de su marido, al existir separación de bienes, “si hubiese recibido trasvases del patrimonio de su cónyuge tendría que declararlo en el impuesto de donaciones, y no es así”.

“Tiene un sueldo relativamente alto, pero no puede cubrir ciertos desembolsos que ha hecho, esto debería aclararlo, no es aceptable que diga que es su vida privada cuando además utiliza los servicios jurídicos del Ayuntamiento para denunciarnos”, dijo.
Denuncia Colegio de Abogados
Los servicios jurídicos del Ayuntamiento han denunciado a Antonio Flores ante el Colegio de Abogados de Málaga por “injurias o calumnias” sobre las inversiones de la alcaldesa en Luxemburgo. Flores considera que “hemos tropezado con este asunto, lo hemos remitido a un medio de comunicación y a partir de ahí ha surgido todo”.
“El Colegio no tiene competencia contra nosotros porque es una cuestión entre dos partes privadas, la alcaldesa no es clienta y no tenemos relación jurídica, por tanto no hay contenido deontológico”, declaró.
Preguntado sobre por qué la alcaldesa no ha acudido a los tribunales, ha dicho que una querella “causa revuelo y hay que sacar muchos papeles”, por lo que han optado por una “manera sucia de empañar la imagen de un abogado”.
The Olive Press

Mayor of Marbella sues top lawyer over alleged undeclared assetsTHE mayor of Marbella is suing a well known lawyer over claims that she improperly declared her investments abroad.

Maria Angeles is suing Antonio Flores, of Lawbird, after he spoke to the press regarding her alleged failure to declare that she and her expat husband Lars Broberg took out a €3.1 million equity release mortgage with Swiss bank Nordea in 2010.

Muñoz has accused the brief of ‘professional misconduct’, claiming he was the main source in recent media reports concerning her allegedly undeclared assets.

As well as investments in Luxembourg, Munoz and Swede Broberg allegedly bought a 98% share in Gibraltarian company Crasel Limited, in 2003.

The town hall has reported the lawyer, who has a column with the Olive Press, to the Law Society, meaning the case will not go to court.

Spokesman for the town hall, Felix Romero claimed Flores ‘went against professional ethics by giving insulting statements to the press, and distributing them across the internet’.

Flores insisted: “I have not been disrespectful towards her. I only said that she had either deliberately not declared her investments, or that she was a victim of the bank, like many others. I never made any indication which.”

Concerns were first raised about Munoz’s foreign dealings by a group established by Antonio Flores, called the Equity Release Victims Association (ERVA), made up of expats who have lost millions of euros through the bank.

The lawyer has filed a complaint with the Tax Office on behalf of ERVA’s members, affected by investments with Nordea Bank.

Mr Flores will give a press conference on Thursday to discuss the allegations made against him.

Story by Mike Lockley | Birmingham Mail

A Birmingham poker ace, who ranks royal love rat James Hewitt and Sir Mark Thatcher among friends, has vanished from his luxury Costa del Sol home amid a major cash probe.

Broker “Sir” Nigel Goldman – he boasts of paying for the peerage – is being sought by Spanish police probing claims that people who entrusted him to invest their cash were left empty-handed and unable to access their funds.

It is not the first time that the playboy, who lived in exclusive Petersham Place, Edgbaston, before moving to Marbella, has been accused of dealing clients a duff hand.

In his own book, titled ‘High Stakes: How I blew £14 million’ he confesses to being banged up twice for fraud.

One review of the autobiography notes: “Goldman seems to show little remorse – and more than a little contempt – for the victims whose money he lived off so handsomely.”

This time, however, Goldman claims he has been duped himself, along with those who are demanding answers.

In a text message, he insisted: “Things started to go wrong just over a year ago. It seems some of my brokers turned out to be running a Ponzi scheme with everyone’s money. Since then I have been playing catch-up.

“I did not set out to be a thief.”

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from existing capital or new capital paid by new investors, rather than from profit earned by the individual or organisation running the operation.

Goldman has admitted in writing to owing as much as €800,000 (£658,000)

One former Birmingham business contact of the gambler, who dealt in gold and coins, said he was not surprised by the fresh controversy.

“He can’t help himself,” shrugged the coins specialist. “He’s a very clever bloke. If he did the right things, he’d make a fortune.”

Goldman, a feature at the world’s biggest poker tournaments, has not been seen for three weeks following complaints about his Tangier-based company, International Financial Investment.

A lawyer acting for investors who say they have lost cash, has publicly stated that he is chasing £2.5 million, and that the sum is rising daily.

Antonio Flores, of Lawbird solicitors, has placed advertisements in Spanish newspapers in an attempt to track down public school-educated Goldman, nicknamed “Naughty Nigel” by the Costa press.

Yet Goldman, son of a Birmingham dentist, seemed to have turned over a new leaf after immersing himself in Marbella’s bustling social circuit just over ten years ago. His gleaming Mercedes and glamorous girlfriend, Suzanne Couling, were part and parcel of the VIP scene and were regularly spotted at Hewitt’s Polo House restaurant – THE place to be in Marbella,

Euro Weekly News

AN expatriate who lost €1million to a ‘thieving bank’ has taken it to court.

Euan Armstrong, 75, says he has lost his life savings after being sold an ‘illegal’ equity release scheme that was supposed to protect his estate from inheritance tax.
Danske bank ‘mortgaged his house’ then invested the cash in its own financial products. Not only did Danske not deliver on the promised €35,000 of annual investment income but they then began charging him tens of thousands in commissions and ‘charges’ – €18,000 the first year, even more the next, up to an average of €55,000 per year – before  trying to re-possess his home near Coin.

That has left Euan, and he says, hundreds of others out of pocket to the tune of possibly hundreds of million of euros.

Armstrong told EuroWeekly that “my €1 million investment was spiraling downward to where by 2010, I’d lost €850,000 of it,” with Danske after him to pay what they had lost. Left destitute, he says, “I had to put my own house up for rental in order to live and eat.” He has since been forced out of retirement and back to work as a yacht captain.

NOT GIVING UP: Euan Armstrong says he is one of hundreds

Giving up the fight against Danske is impossible for Armstrong because, according to him, “I’m only one of hundreds.” In response, he linked up with fellow ‘equity release’ fraud victim Ian Sherdley to form the Equity Release Victims Association (ERVA, www.erva.es) which empowers similar victims to speak out with ERVA’s support. Antonio Flores of Lawbird Legal Services confirms that 500-600 people have fallen prey to illegal mortgages schemes totaling €175 million along the Costa.

Armstrong accuses multiple banks—“They’re all doing it,” he says—of targeting the elderly, retired demographic, those without mortgages, so as “to get their money off them.” In the meantime, Armstrong claims innocent people are dying from corollary effects like alcoholism. He says the stress has brought on an irregular heart beat while his brother John has since passed away. “The banks are waiting for people to die,” he states, explaining that if banks wait it out long enough, they win. Law firms fighting these cases have made little progress because the banks “just don’t answer.” Armstrong sentiments were unequivocal: “They’re thieving, robbing *****.”

Armed with 1,030 pages of evidence on Armstrong’s case, a Malaga court has overturned a previous Danske appeal by declaring the case is indeed criminal, not merely civil. Now Henrik Hjerrild and Morten Runo, two top executives from Danske Bank International S.A.’s Luxembourg office, have been summoned by a Fuengirola court for suspected criminal financial dealings.

What is next for Armstrong? “Wait and hope the bank will cancel the mortgage. Then I’ll sue for damages. The situation has brought financial ruin.”

Story by Peter Nyholm | Business DK

Danske Bank har angiveligt rådgivet kunder til at spare i skat ved at optage gæld i deres spanske hus. På den måde kunne de bl.a. undgå at betale arveafgifter. Pengene skulle bruges til at investere via Danske Banks bankselskab i Luxembourg, men i dag er store dele af kundernes formuer tabt, og derfor skal to af Danske Banks folk nu forklare sig i retten.

Beskyldningerne går på, at banken i processen både har vildledt kunderne og begået bedrageri. Sådan lyder det fra advokat Antonio Flores fra Lawbird Legal Services – et advokatkontor i Malaga, som fører en sag mod Danske Bank på vegne af nogle briter. Hans mål er at få banken til at betale erstatning til kunderne.

Det skal tilføjes, at han er aflønnet efter en no cure, no pay-ordning, så han får en procentdel af erstatningerne, hvis han vinder sagerne. Han har ført kamp med flere andre danske banker, der har ligget i lignende opgør om salg af investeringsprodukter baseret på lån i fast ejendom via Luxembourg eller andre lande, der havde status af skattely.

»Nu har retten bestemt sig for at kalde de her Danske Bank-personer til Spanien for at blive afhørt. Sagen skal klarlægge, om der skal rejses en kriminalsag. Dokumenterne er allerede godkendt. De viser, at Danske Bank begik vildledende markedsføring og bedrageri,« lyder det fra Antonio Flores, som oplyser, at det er rådgiverne Morten Runo Waaben og Henrik Hjerrild Hansen fra Danske Bank Luxembourg, der skal forklare Danske Banks sag i retten. Det skal dog ikke forveksles med, at de er sigtede i sagen.

Et centralt dokument i sagen er såkaldt fact sheet fra 2003 fra Danske Bank. Her redegør banken for de fordele, der er ved et såkaldt Capital Assurance-produkt. Der nævnes fem forskellige punkter, hvorved udenlandske kunder bosat i Spanien opnår en skattefordel ved at gå ind i Danske Banks model.

»Disse dokumenter om skattefordele var ikke sande, de var løgn. Men man kan ikke afvise, at Danske Bank har misforstået disse produkter, men det er fuldstændig klart, at man ikke må bruge dette produkt til at omgå skat, det er ulovligt,« siger advokaten.

KPMG afviser godkendelse

For at gøre sagen endnu mere pikant oplyses det i dokumentet fra Danske Bank, at »The tax benefits of the Capital Assurance have been approved by KPMG«, men nu oplyser Antonio Flores, at han er i besiddelse af et brev fra KPMG, hvori de afviser at have godkendt modellen:

»Skattekontoret siger, at det er ulovligt, og KPMG siger, at de aldrig har godkendt produktet.«

I den konkrete sag oplyser advokaten, at et britisk ægtepar har belånt deres ejendom med en mio. euro.

De penge har Danske Bank så investeret, men det er gået skidt efter krisen, og der er nu kun 300.000 euro tilbage.

Selv om Antonio Flores allerede har tabt sagen ved en civil ret, er målet fortsat, at kunderne skal stilles, som om de aldrig er indgået i aftalen.

Det kan angiveligt blive en dyr omgang for banken, for Antonio Flores påstår, at 100 spanske kunder er i en lignende situation i Danske Bank. Det antal afviser direktør for Danske Bank-koncernens private banking-område, Klaus Mønsted Pedersen, dog:

»Jeg kan ikke forholde mig til det tal, jeg ved simpelthen ikke, hvad han taler om.« Hvor mange er der så?

»Det er ret få. Men jeg ved ikke, hvor han har det tal fra. Det er far out. Det er en ti år gammel sag, som tidligere er tabt i en civil ret. Nogle forsøger at slippe for at betale et lån, fordi de er kommet i klemme. De gør alt, hvad de kan. Jeg synes, at det er tankevækkende, at han kører det her i pressen og ikke i retten.«Men kan du bekræfte, at der er kunder, som har tabt penge på at investere i Luxembourg? 

»Hvis man under krisen tog et lån og investerede, så gav det tab for mange mennesker. Sådan er det jo. Meget af det er kommet tilbage, men det kan man ikke forhindre.«Hvordan forholder du dig til påstanden om, at I har vildledt kunderne og begået bedrageri?

»Jeg er da irriteret over det. Men sådan er det at drive virksomhed. Det kan man ikke undgå at løbe ind i.« Vil du afvise, at det har noget på sig?»Jeg vil afvise fuldstændig, at der er noget som helst på den sag,« I materialet står der, at der er fordele rent skattemæssigt? »Det er for mig at se bare almindelig information om, hvordan sådan noget fungerer.« Men er det ikke en god forretning for banken. Man har lånt en masse penge ud og investeret dem samtidig med?

»Bankvæsen handler jo om at foretage investeringer og yde lån og modtage indlån og betalingsformidling. Det har været en fornuftig forretning, men ikke mere fornuftig end alt muligt andet.«

 

——

 

Danish Bank has allegedly advised clients to save tax by raising debt in their Spanish house . That way they could include avoid paying inheritance taxes. The money was used to invest via Danish Bank banking company in Luxembourg, but today much of customers’ fortunes lost and therefore two of the Danish Bank people now explain himself in court.

The accusation is that the bank in the process both misled customers and committed fraud. So says lawyer Antonio Flores from Lawbird Legal Services – a law firm in Malaga, leading a case against the Danish Bank on behalf of some Britons. His goal is to get the bank to pay compensation to customers.

It should be added that he was paid at a no cure, no pay scheme , so he gets a percentage of the damages if he wins the cases. He led fight with several other Danish banks that have been in similar showdown on the sale of investment products based on mortgages via Luxembourg or other countries that had the status of tax havens.

“Now the court has decided to call these Danish Bank persons to Spain for questioning . The case must clarify whether to bring a criminal . The documents have already been approved. They show that the Danish Bank committed deceptive marketing and fraud , ” says Antonio Flores, who says that it is the advisors Morten Runo Waaben and Henrik Hjerrild Hansen from the Danish Bank Luxembourg to explain Danish Bank case in court . It should not be confused with the fact that they are suspects in the case.

A key document in this case is called a fact sheet from 2003 from the Danish Bank . This explains the bank for the benefits of a so-called Capital Assurance product. There are five different points , whereby foreign customers residing in Spain achieve a tax advantage by going into the Danish Bank model.

“These documents about the tax benefits were not true , they were lying. But one can not deny that the Danish Bank ‘ve got these products, but it is quite clear that one should not use this product to evade taxes , it is illegal , “said the lawyer.

KPMG denies approval

To make matters even more piquant is stated in the document of the Danish Bank that ” The tax benefits of the Capital Assurance havebeen godkendt by KPMG ,” but now says Antonio Flores that he is in possession of a letter from KPMG in which the denies having authorized the model:

” The tax office says it is illegal, and KPMG say they never approved the product . ”

In this particular case, the lawyer says that a British couple have mortgaged their property with a million . euro .

The money has Danish Bank so invested , but it has gone bad after the crisis, and there are now only 300,000 euros return.

Although Antonio Flores already has been unsuccessful in the civil courts , the goal remains that customers must be treated as if they never entered into the Agreement.

It can supposedly be an expensive place for the bank, Antonio Flores claims that 100 Spanish customers are in a similar situation in the Danish Bank . The number of rejects director of the Danish Bank Group’s private banking division , Klaus Mønsted Pedersen, however :

“I can not relate to the numbers I simply do not know what he’s talking about . ” How many are there ?

“It is quite a few . But I do not know where he got that number from . It’s far out . It is a ten year old case that was lost in a civilian court . Some try to avoid paying a loan because they get caught. They are doing everything they can. I think it is significant that he runs it here in the press and not the right . “But can you confirm that there are customers who have lost money investing in Luxembourg?

” If the crisis took a loan and invested , so gave it a loss for many people. How it is. Much of it has come back , but it can not prevent. ” How do you relate to the allegation that I have misled customers and committed fraud?
“I’m as annoyed by it. But this is to run a business . You can not avoid running into the ” Do you deny that it has something to do? ‘I reject completely that there is anything on the matter ,” the material says that there are benefits for tax purposes ? “It is for me to see just general information about how something works. ” But it is not good business for the bank. It has borrowed a lot of money and invested them at the same time ?

” Banking is all about making investments and providing loans and receive deposits and payments . It has been a sound business , but no more sensible than anything else. “

El Confidencial

El Juzgado de Instrucción número 1 de Fuengirola, que instruye el caso de un británico a quien se le vendió una hipoteca inversa extranjera, ha citado a declarar como imputados por un delito de “estafa y publicidad engañosa” a dos directivos del mayor banco de Dinamarca, el “Danske Bank”.

Según la providencia del Juzgado, los dos directivos, que actualmente trabajan en la sucursal luxemburguesa del banco, deberán presentarse el próximo 23 de enero para ser interrogados por el juez, según informa a través de un comunicado la defensa del afectado, el despacho de abogados Lawbird.

Además, el juzgado llamará a comparecer el mismo día a los representantes legales de “Danske Bank International S.A” como responsable civil directo, al no existir en la fecha de los hechos un “supuesto de responsabilidad penal para personas jurídicas”.

Según la querella presentada por el afectado en 2011, “Danske Bank” le convenció para que hipotecase su vivienda de retiro en Alhaurín el Grande (Málaga) en garantía de un préstamo, el cual, sin que pasara por España, “se invertía en operaciones de especulación financiera en Luxemburgo”.

El producto financiero, denominado “Capital Assurance”, prometía ventajas fiscales ajustadas a la legislación española en relación con los impuestos de patrimonio y sucesiones, al “reducir mediante el artificio de trabar hipoteca la base imponible de la vivienda”, que posteriormente se declaraba al fisco.

Según el gabinete de abogados, “Danske Bank” llegó incluso a “falsear” el contenido de un informe emitido por la consultora mundial KPMG sobre la fiscalidad del producto, al “interpretar torticeramente las conclusiones” del mismo.

La nota indica que KPMG ha considerado como “falsa” la afirmación que “Danske Bank” hacía en su folleto publicitario de que los beneficios fiscales del producto “Capital Assurance” han sido aprobados por la consultora, la cual requirió la eliminación del folleto publicitario de toda referencia a cualquier aprobación dada por KPMG.

El texto indica que recientemente Hacienda dictaminó que las hipotecas inversas extranjeras “no sirven para desgravar impuestos en España” a quienes poseen inmuebles en nuestro país, constituyendo “infracción tributaria sancionable” el hacerlo, incluso por vía penal, para el caso de que el montante defraudado supere los 120.000 euros.

En la misma causa penal está imputado el anterior presidente de “Danske Bank”, como máximo responsable de la entidad danesa, que se cree que “ha podido colocar en España un centenar de estos productos”. EFECOM

Related

Story by ROB SMYTH | Burton Mail

LAWYERS in Europe have revealed a second complaint has been lodged in a case concerning an alleged multi-million pound overseas scam involving an East Staffordshire businessman.

It has emerged that more than 30 people from Britain and Ireland have now lodged a collective action in Madrid after losing hundreds of thousands of pounds to Ocean View Properties (OVP), a firm run by Colin Thomas, of Town Hill, Yoxall.

The case is set to be heard alongside a long-standing class action lawsuit against Spanish developer Ricardo Miranda Miret.

Mr Thomas has already been served a subpoena to appear at a court in Spain earlier this year, only for the case to be delayed after the trial judge had be to be changed.

A court date is expected to be revealed in the next few weeks so that the cases can be heard in tandem.

If Mr Thomas does not appear, a European arrest warrant will be issued.

Antonio Flores, the Spanish prosecuting lawyer from Marbella-based firm Lawbird, said: “The court has deemed it necessary that Colin Thomas and others attend personally, rather than giving a statement in the UK, on grounds of the complexity of the case, the volume of documentation and the principle of judicial immediacy.

“Once they are summoned again, failing to turn up could trigger the issue of an European Arrest Warrant.

“I don’t believe OVP knew anything about what was going on but this was a scam of huge proportions.”

A criminal claim for fraud and misappropriation of funds was lodged in February 2011 in a bid to recover deposits paid by investors to (OVP).

The company was set up in 2001 by buy-to-let millionaire Thomas and other businessmen.

It was behind a string of successful overseas propoerty enterprises but ran into difficulties when it became involved as a UK agent for Spanish developer Ricardo Miranda Miret.

More than 1,000 British investors, who paid a total of £45 million for ‘off-plan’ overseas property developments, have lost their money after the firm was formally dissolved in 2009 with the appointment of liquidators Grant Thornton.

The court claims are linked to developments which never materialised.

Mr Thomas is currently banned from being a company director for nine years following an Insolvency Service investigation.

He was also cleared by the Serious Fraud Office and Staffordshire Police following an investigation into the collapse of OVP.

Former OVP boss Thomas, others accused and Miranda have all ‘strongly denied’ any wrongdoing.

BBC News

 

Staff clutch menus, hoping to catch a tourist’s eye, while competing ticket sellers hand out flyers about their boat trips to see the dolphins.

This is the Costal Del Sol, a magnet for expats and holidaymakers seeking a bit of Spanish sun with a distinctly British flavour.

It was also the home of millionaire expat Toni Muldoon as he conned vulnerable people back in Britain out of money they could ill afford to lose.

While they signed up to his £5.7m fake escort or debt elimination scams, he “flaunted” his wealth and lived a life of luxury in a 10-bedroom villa.Continue reading the main story

He is a despicable criminal. He has ripped thousands of people off

Antonio Flores – Lawyer

“Muldoon was a typical expat,” said Antonio Flores, a lawyer who investigated Muldoon.

He added: “He was a vain man, he liked to show his wealth and he liked people to know who he was, even though he was in the wrong business.”

In Benalmadena, described by one ticket seller as a “five-star area”, Muldoon had a pleasure boat and aqua taxi business.

The Caribbean Lady, which has since been seized as an asset, took tourists out into the Mediterranean.

A chalk board and posters still advertise the boat, with a gap in the marina where it was once moored.

Call-centre operators

A few miles away is the sprawling holiday resort Fuengirola, with its high-rise beachfront hotels.

Muldoon liked to show his wealth here and in Marbella, visiting bars and restaurants.

The headquarters of his fraudulent schemes could be found in an office and call-centre, where tables are still laden with phones.

Office in FuengirolaA call centre, crucial to the fraud, was based in an office in Fuengirola

 

Operators would answer calls from British customers keen to sign up as an escort or to have their debt cleared by one of Muldoon’s bogus businesses.

The BBC asked people in the marina and at bars along the coast about Muldoon, but they are all reluctant to speak about him – except for Mr Flores.

‘Big criminal organisation’

Before the fraud, investigated by Suffolk trading standards, Muldoon extracted millions from UK timeshare owners wanting to sell their properties.

Mr Flores, of Lawbird Legal Services in Marbella, spent 10 years investigating the scam and last year took a group action in the Malaga courts on behalf of 190 UK victims.

Antonio Flores

Antonio Flores described Muldoon as “despicable”

Muldoon was given a two-year suspended sentence for swindle and criminal association.

Mr Flores believes there are people in the Costa Del Sol who have already stepped into Muldoon’s shoes, running cold-call schemes asking for upfront fees.

“They [Muldoon's businesses] would say there were people willing to buy their timeshare and in order to secure the deal the owners had to send a deposit,” he said.

“What he was doing is ripping people off once and then he would have another company call people offering them legal services to recover the sum which they had lost. It was another scam.

“He’s a clever guy, he’s able to run a business – it does have a structure with offices and staff and telephones.

“They start at 9, they finish at 6 and in that time they have to sign up a certain number of people.

“He is a despicable criminal. He has ripped thousands of people off, each out of £3,000, £4,000. Some of them elderly vulnerable people.

“It was a big criminal organisation.

“He’s made millions over the years, for sure. I expect he hasn’t been stupid and has stashed away a lot of money.”

‘Dreaded extradition’

Mr Flores said the guilty plea in the UK courts was not a sense of closure because the victims of the timeshare fraud had not got their money back, nor had they had the sense of justice of seeing Muldoon go to prison in Spain.

Toni Muldoon's Spanish villaMuldoon’s villa in Campo Mijas has also been seized as an asset

 

Instead of serving time in Spain, Muldoon returned to a quiet community nestling in the hills above Fuengirola.

Las Mimosas in Campo Mijas feels like a gated community, with each house surrounded by high walls, a gate at least 7ft tall, with buzzer entry and a warning about burglar alarms.

Its residents are mostly expats – Dutch, Swiss and British, to name a few – with Muldoon clearly not mixing with his British neighbours.

His peach-coloured mansion is ostentatious, a swimming pool on a terrace sheltered by something like a giant dressing partition for extra privacy.

But, more than 1,000 miles away from Campo Mijas, Muldoon’s life of deceit was beginning to come crashing down as trading standards officers in Ipswich were gathering a mound of evidence against him.

Perhaps those dominant walls and gates prepared him for his next home, HMP Norwich, where he has already spent several months on remand.

The dramatic change in lifestyle is, in part, a kind of justice for his victims.

“We heard from the police he would be happy to go to jail in Spain because he knew he was going to be treated more leniently than in the United Kingdom,” said Mr Flores.

“He had dreaded the fact of being extradited and he fought his extradition through the Spanish courts.”

Related News

Story by Colin Freeman | The Telegraph

Once a land of Ferraris, cocaine and women, it was the flashy destination of choice for the most notorious fugitives of Britain’s underworld. Now, as the arrest of Andrew Moran shows, Spain’s “Costa del Crime” is the worst place to go on the run, reports Colin Freeman.

Since he last gained fame as a brief item in the “Crimewatch” slot of his local television news, a lot has changed for Manchester armed robber Jason Coghlan.

Having broken out of the dock during a court appearance in 1999, he spent a fortnight as one of the North West’s most wanted men before being re-arrested and sentenced to 12 years in Britain’s highest security jails.

Today, though, the man the police warned the public not to approach comes across as very approachable, having turned his back on crime in favour of a new venture in sunny Marbella.

This time he is on the right side of the law – just – acting as a legal “Mr Fixit” to the British criminal fraternity, who complain that a decent Spanish lawyer is as hard to find as a decent Spanish plumber.

“A lot of lawyers out here aren’t good at acting for foreign criminals, and when Brits get arrested they need someone like me to guide them to a decent one,” said Mr Coghlan, 43, whose younger brother, Arran, is nicknamed the “Teflon Don” back in Manchester after three separate attempts to prosecute him for different murders failed.

 

Jason Coghlan

“I make sure they’re represented properly and handle the translation issues, but I can also talk the criminal’s language, as it were, because of my background,” Mr Coghlan added.

One potential client for Mr Coghlan now is fellow Mancunian Andrew Moran, 31, who last week became the star of his very own mini-gangster movie when Spanish police released a video of his arrest at the poolside of his villa in Calpe, near Benidorm.

The footage, which received widespread media coverage, showed police creeping up on Mr Moran as he sunbathed, pouncing on him as he vaulted over a garden wall to escape. That it looked like a scene from the Costa-based crime flick Sexy Beast, in which Ray Winstone’s retired villain whiles away life by the pool, was no coincidence. Spanish police, who allegedly discovered two pistols at Moran’s villa, knew that if they grabbed him in his trunks, he was unlikely to be armed.

In the back yard of Moran’s empty villa this weekend, a bottle of Factor 20 suncream was the only remaining sign of his life in the run, which began four years ago with a previous vault from the dock of Burnley Crown Court, when he was on trial for a mail van hold-up. Spanish judges are now debating whether to extradite him to Britain, or try him in Spain, where he faces separate charges of cannabis dealing and ramming two police cars while evading a previous arrest attempt last year.

Yet while Moran’s arrest was hailed as a triumph by British police, who nowadays work much more closely with their Spanish counterparts, it also showed that the “Costa del Crime” is still popular with Britons facing accusations of villainy.

Moran was on a list of no less than 65 “most wanted” issued in the past six years by Operation Captura, the Spanish arm of Britain’s Crimestoppers scheme, which targets suspects thought to be hiding in Spain by distributing leaflets and beer mats with hotline numbers to expat bars. Of that 65, all but 15 have now been arrested. And at the risk of doing himself out of future clients, Mr Coghlan says that other fugitives planning on coming here should think again.

“Quote me on this – Spain is singularly the worst place to go on the run,” he said.

Police capture Andrew Moran in Calpe.

“In the 1970s it was okay because there was no extradition treaty. But nowadays there is lots of police attention, both British and Spanish. You might as well hide in Norfolk. Spain is not an imaginative choice at all, but then again, many villains do not have much imagination.”

It is a far cry from the old days, which Mr Coghlan himself caught the tail end of in the 1990s, when he would regularly head out to Marbella to spend the proceeds of his crimes, blowing tens of thousands of pounds in just a few weeks.

“Back then I felt like a king, and it felt safe to spend money there,” he said. “There was a place where you could hire Ferraris for £600 a day, and the women were experts at parting you from your cash. I loved the birds, and I’d buy them whatever it took – jewellery, clothes whatever – just so we’d look good when out at night.

“But the Spanish police back then were a different breed, and you could still offer them money to get out of serious situations. Act all flash these days, and you’ll soon get into trouble.”

Certainly, Mr Moran appears to have kept a low profile, having had a distinctive mole removed via plastic surgery and swapping his skinhead look for a short-back-and sides and wispy moustache. He also seems to have avoided the expat bars in Calpe’s “English Square” where, apart from a local character named “Pikey Pete”, no-one remembers seeing any villainous types for years.

“Nowadays, those kind of people stay in villas out in the countryside and keep themselves to themselves,” said one drinker, who nonetheless asked not to named.

Making life harder these days is increased airport security, the introduction of the pan-European arrest warrant in 2004, and occasional swoops by Spanish police, who will sometimes do random ID checks in bars frequented by British villains.

Yet many fugitives do still take their chances here, as is evident from a flick through the outstanding Captura wanted list, where the mugshots of Glasgow hardmen, Geordie gangsters and East End enforcers show the modern British underworld at all levels.

At the upper end are current fugitives like David Andrews, 66, accused of running a major cocaine trafficking gang, and Derek “Decco” Ferguson, wanted over a Strathclyde pub carpark shooting in 2007. Further down, meanwhile, are men like alleged heroin dealer Scott Coleman, who, with a distinctive pair of lips tattooed on his buttocks, has presumably had to be more cautious with the ladies than Mr Coghlan was.

So why do they still come? “It’s partly because there is a well established British community there that they can assimilate into very easily,” said Dave Allen, head of the fugitives unit at the Serious and Organised Crime Agency.

“Parts of Spain are basically like south London with sunshine. Having said that, we’ve changed our policing methods a lot in the last 30 years, and nowadays, criminals who move abroad are never off our radar.”

The other attraction is Spain’s prime location in the drug trade, which is now booming more than ever. Cocaine and marijuana is easily trafficked in from North Africa, from where it can then be sold retail on the Costa club scene, or shipped wholesale to Britain. According to some estimates, as many as 30 or 40 British criminal gangs now operate in southern Spain, alongside Dutch, Eastern European and Irish gangs, the latter fleeing recent crackdowns in their Dublin strongholds.

True, increased transport hub security in the post 9/11 era makes airports and ports harder for fugitives. But many use so-called “FOG” passports – or “fraudulently obtained genuine” passports – whereby a criminal will bribe someone for their personal documents and then use them to obtain a legally valid passport.

Once out in Spain, criminals can also usually rely on networks of contacts to help them, said Mr Allen – assuming they are not “too hot to handle”.

But while a large criminal fraternity can help provide a support network, it can also be a problem. Fellow villains are far more likely to recognise fugitives – and give their game away – than ordinary members of the public are.

“The police always call it ‘intelligence’ to make themselves sound intelligent, but when they arrest someone it’s usually just some other villain has informed on them,” said Mr Coghlan.

Which is where his new Marbella-based firm, Jacog Law, comes in.

Specialising in “Spanish to English Criminal Legal Services”, it has gained 28 clients since starting 16 months ago, including a Briton accused of smuggling a tonne of hashish, and a suspected IRA hitman convicted of murdering Daniel Smith, himself a suspected gangster, in a bar near Marbella in 2010. And while Mr Coghlan does not claim to be a lawyer, he does bring considerable practical experience of criminal legal systems, both in Britain and in Spain.

Originally from Stockport, he fell into crime when he was young, being booted out of the Commandos for assault and theft and then becoming involved in car-ringing and robbery. His brother Arran, meanwhile, has been accused three times of the murders of northern gangland figures and also arrested over a large-scale cocaine smuggling plot. He has never been convicted of any of the offences, however, and insists he is a legitimate businessman facing a police vendetta.

After his initial arrest for the 1999 post office robbery, Jason Coghlan escaped from Trafford Magistrates Court, where, having told guards he needed crutches for a leg injury, he threw the crutches away and leaped over the dock. He was then caught in Blackpool a fortnight later, and having been classified as a Category Double AA high-risk prisoner, served his time in maximum security jails like Whitemoor, where he met Britain’s topmost gangsters. Among them was the Brinks Mat bullion handler and road rage killer Kenneth Noye, who himself was arrested in Spain in 1998 after two years on the run.

“I did ask him once why he’d gone to the south of Spain,” said Mr Coghlan. “He said that for people of his generation, it was the only place they really knew.”

Having decided to reform, Mr Coghlan become a jail-house lawyer while inside, advising other prisoners on legal cases and appeals. He got the idea for his current venture, though, after subsequently being thrown in jail in Spain, where he went after his release in Britain to pursue an alleged time-share fraudster who owed his mother money. The man complained to the police, who then arrested Mr Coghlan and held him on remand for 11 months. Worse still, he claims, a lawyer he paid €10,000 to only visited him once.

“It is hard to describe how bad the legal service is out here,” he said.

“While I was in prison I also heard dozens of other complaints about the inefficiencies of lawyers out here, and having learned the hard way, I now want to change that.”

To that end, his firm refers work to a number of favoured legal firms, in return for a percentage of any fees they then charge. Unlike some Spanish legal firms, he says, they will challenge weak police cases rather than simply plea bargaining.

“It is fair to say that a lot of Spanish lawyers take a rather laid back approach,” agreed Antonio Flores, a leading lawyer at Lawbird Legal Services in Marbella, which has had referrals from Mr Coghlan.

True, Mr Coghlan freely admits that his own reputation helps to ensure that nobody trifles with his clients. But he adds: “There is nothing legally wrong with what we do, even if the authorities don’t like it. And I’m not pretending to be a lawyer, I’m just a good case administrator.”

Ironically for a man who now claims to have gone straight, the success of his future venture will, of course, depend on the Costa del Crime continuing to attract villains. As things stand, though, that seems likely – even if they do look over their shoulder rather more often while sitting by the pool.