Suicide After IRS Offshore Tax Crackdown

finn caspersen

The stepped-up U.S. investigation of Americans with offshore accounts may have just claimed its first victim.

Finn M. W. Caspersen, a philanthropist, financier and the heir to the Beneficial Corporation fortune, committed suicide on labour Day amid a tax-evasion investigation and other financial problems.

NYT: But Mr. Caspersen, a patron of Harvard and Princeton who gave away tens of millions of dollars to charity, apparently harbored a secret: He was suspected of dodging many millions in federal taxes. The authorities, it seemed, were closing in.

At the time of his death, investigators were building a case against Mr. Caspersen on suspicion of using secret offshore bank accounts to evade taxes.

The authorities had asserted he might have owed as much as $100 million in back taxes and fines or, possibly, even have faced prison, according to a person briefed on the investigation, who was granted anonymity because of the delicacy of the case and the events surrounding Mr. Caspersen’s death.

The Times reports that Caspersen was suspected of secreting millions of dollars in tax-haven Liechtenstein:

The I.R.S. learned that Mr. Caspersen held an account at LGT, the private bank controlled with Liechtenstein’s royal family, according to the person close to the investigation. Liechtenstein pledged last December to disclose the names of some wealthy Americans with bank accounts there, but it was unclear if Mr. Caspersen’s name was among them or how the I.R.S. learned of any account in his name.


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