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— It was all a ruse to permit Southwest to take a $1 million tax deduction for marketing help that was never provided. In effect, Kawesch's income electronically drifted offshore to Nevis and then back to Kawesch, thus slipping past tax collectors' eyes and permitting the surgeon to evade taxes.

People who have been intimately involved in Frasier's activities tell me that federal investigators are eyeing him in the Telco/Sequoia phantasma. Kawesch refuses to talk about the subject with me, referring me to his lawyer, Michael Lipman, who also won't discuss the matter. Federal investigators are not talking.

Frasier and Nevis go way back -- back to his father, in fact. In May of 2000, a bank filed suit in Richmond, Virginia, against the law firm of the elder Freasier and his son. The suit charged that the pair had assisted a person who owed money to the bank to stash his loot in Nevis.

Court records from Virginia also reveal why the senior Freasier left Virginia. In an appellate decision, the court noted that in 1972, a rich woman hired her physician, Alvin Jarrett, to oversee her personal and financial affairs. Jarrett hired Freasier as legal counsel. "Through systematic physical and emotional abuse during the ensuing 14 years, Jarrett and Freasier induced [her] to relinquish to them total control of her day-to-day affairs," noted the court. "As a result of their fraudulent activities, Jarrett and Freasier were able to divert a substantial portion of [her] assets to themselves and their families" without her consent.

Freasier and son Frasier made their way to San Diego in the late 1980s. Freasier was both a lawyer and an executive for Melvin Lloyd Richards, a convicted stock swindler who dealt with offshore tax havens and has spent several stretches in prison. Frasier represented Richards, too, in at least one matter. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, during his time at his former law firm, Frasier "purported to specialize in offshore asset protection."

And he wrote a book telling how to shelter assets offshore. Investigators reportedly read it with glee. Neither Frasier nor his attorney returned calls. Freasier could not be reached.

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