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Disbarment for fund juggler

Chris Rusch helped clients stash money abroad — then he ratted on them

The State Bar of California has disbarred Carlsbad attorney Chris M. Rusch, who specialized in offshore tax havens. On March 18 of last year, he was sentenced to ten months in prison for helping two Arizonans hide millions of dollars in Swiss accounts.

Rusch got off easy because, according to the Department of Justice, he testified at trial, telling how he helped the two businessman sell shares of stocks through undeclared accounts. Rush also admitted that he transferred some of his clients' money back to the United States to his lawyer's trust account.

All told, Rusch helped the businessmen stash $6.6 million in the tax and secrecy haven. Rusch was recommended for disbarment, and then disbarred by the state supreme court, because he did not respond to the bar's attempts to reach him.

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The State Bar of California has disbarred Carlsbad attorney Chris M. Rusch, who specialized in offshore tax havens. On March 18 of last year, he was sentenced to ten months in prison for helping two Arizonans hide millions of dollars in Swiss accounts.

Rusch got off easy because, according to the Department of Justice, he testified at trial, telling how he helped the two businessman sell shares of stocks through undeclared accounts. Rush also admitted that he transferred some of his clients' money back to the United States to his lawyer's trust account.

All told, Rusch helped the businessmen stash $6.6 million in the tax and secrecy haven. Rusch was recommended for disbarment, and then disbarred by the state supreme court, because he did not respond to the bar's attempts to reach him.

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Comments
5

Considering the potential for stashing massive sums of money offshore, I'd think that a $6 million case was relatively small potatoes. You didn't mention if the two "Zonies" got prison time, too. Now that the US government and the IRS are moving to reveal those with offshore accounts and collect the taxes that were evaded, very few prosecutions have occurred. But the threat of jail time is always present, and that provides incentive for the errant taxpayers to come forward and clean up their cases. This sentence is likely a signal to those who aren't getting the message that they really can be convicted and sent to the slammer.

Nov. 4, 2015

Visduh: The two Zonies were each sentenced to10 months of prison. I don't think $6 million is small potatoes. Of course, I admit that those who stash, say, $600 million, are likely to get away with it because they are Too Big to Jail. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 4, 2015

It wasn't long ago that many investors actually thought that hiding funds offshore in banking havens was part of astute financial planning. After all, the Swiss had ironclad bank secrecy. So, wasn't that something you ought to use to your advantage? That might have been the case until the US decided that enough was enough and played tough with a Swiss bank, indicting some of its US based bankers. Suddenly the Swiss parliament decided that their secrecy wasn't so sacrosanct after all, and "allowed" the banks to reveal the lists of secret accounts. Oh, boy! Did that change the banking industry? You bet. It's a whole new world out there for US citizens and residents who want to hide assets and cheat the taxman.

Nov. 4, 2015

Visduh: The U.S. was one of the last major countries to agree to go after people who dodge taxes by stashing assets in offshore tax and secrecy havens. There was a right-wing Texas senator, whose name escapes me, who kept holding it up in the U.S., saying that keeping track of money going from U.S. institutions to offshore havens would be a record-keeping nuisance for bankers. I believe the senator's name started with a "G." Yes, it was Phil Gramm -- a senator who did the dirty work for the crooks. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 4, 2015

Chris Rusch is still out there giving bad advice and stealing money from people. He now calls himself Christian Reeves and operates as Premier Offshore (www.premieroffshore.com).

Jan. 7, 2016

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