‘Hundreds of accounts’ at the Puerto-Rico based Euro Pacific Bank, founded by renowned millionaire broker and Bitcoin sceptic, Peter Schiff, have been placed under international investigation in relation to allegations of tax evasion, according to Australian news outlet The Age.
Indeed, The Age said that as part of a massive tax-fraud probe known as ‘Operation Atlantis’, the aforementioned accounts at the Euro Pacific Bank are being probed on suspicion of tax evasion and a number of other financial crimes. Operation Atlantis led by J5, a task force comprised of tax authorities from five major Western governments that was formed in the wake of the publication of the Panama papers.
Schiff Denies Wrongdoing: the Allegations “Have Nothing to Do with Reality”
However, in spite of the J5’s probes, The Age reported that the bank continues to “[pump] suspected tax-lite dollars around the world.”
The same article alleges that Peter Schiff “intends to keep it that way.”
Indeed, Mr. Schiff’s father, Irwin, is something of a hero in the tax resistance movement; he died in prison, charged with tax evasion, after years of running a Las Vegas-based business called Freedom Books. The shop sold information packages that taught myriad Americans how to cheat the tax system.
However, Peter Schiff denies any and all allegations that Euro Pacific is guilty of any wrongdoing. Before storming out of an interview with 60 Minutes Australia last month, Schiff said that the allegations had “nothing to do with reality,” and that the bank “turns down far more accounts than we approve because our compliance is so rigorous.”
Peter Schiff is adamant authorities won’t find anything to implicate the bank. After refusing to answer any more questions from reporter Nick McKenzie, he left the final word to his wife. #60Mins pic.twitter.com/Cz2GP8awsc
— 60 Minutes Australia (@60Mins) October 18, 2020
The Reason for Schiff’s Disdain for BTC?
The allegations of tax-related criminal activity may not be the bank’s only issue. The Age additionally reported that “the bank’s security was also a problem,” and that “at one point, Russians tried to extort the bank for a ransom of 1000 bitcoins, worth millions of dollars.”
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CoinTelegraph reporter Andrew Thurman pointed out that the alleged extortion may be part of the reason for Peter Schiff’s highly public disdain for BTC. However, while The Age did not disclose when the alleged extortion took place, Schiff has been publicly bashing Bitcoin since 2013.
Schiff has vocalized criticisms on many aspects of BTC, including its associations with criminal activity. The apparent irony of this was not lost on Crypto Twitter.
“All those years bagging Bitcoin & now [Peter Schiff] finds himself at the centre of a major criminal investigation into international tax evasion,” wrote Alex Saunders, chief executive & founder of Nuggets News AU.
All those years bagging #Bitcoin & now @PeterSchiff finds himself at the centre of a major criminal investigation into international tax evasion. 🇦🇺🚨🏦 #Banks #TaxEvasion https://t.co/HvqkgyQNl0 pic.twitter.com/UD8FMcSlvt
— Alex Saunders 🇦🇺👨🔬 (@AlexSaundersAU) October 18, 2020
However, other Crypto Twitter users showed sympathy for Peter Schiff. @Zndtoshi, A self-identified ‘1st-class bitcoin citizen’, tweeted that “Peter Schiff may be wrong about Bitcoin, but he understands how governments work against the people and has the balls to try to make the world a better place by standing up to them.”
@PeterSchiff may be wrong about Bitcoin, but he understands how governments work against the people and has the balls to try to make the world a better place by standing up to them. https://t.co/orruxLbbYo
— zender 🔰 Taproot by BIP8 (@zndtoshi) October 18, 2020
Finance Magnates reached out to Euro Pacific Bank for commentary on this article; the bank did not immediately respond. Comments will be added as they are received.