Meeting in Review: April 17, 2013
WORDS OF INSIPRATION
Greg Scarliatou provided words of inspiration.
Secretary Lynn Holec introduced the following guests:
- Pinar Gamlibel, a visiting Rotarian from the Istanbul Fulya Turkyaz Rotary Club in Istanbul, Turkey. Pinar is a member of the Jinemed Hospital Board.
- Thomas Capellmann, a visiting Rotarian from the Geras/Waldviertel Rotary Club, which is near Vienna, Austria. Thomas is the President Elect of his Club.
- Thomas Corcoran, an attorney with Berliner, Corcoran and Rowe LLP and a guest of Clara Montanez.
- Syed Ali, a Branch Manager with Suntrust and a guest of Deraux Branch.
- John Beale, Ambassador of Barbados and a guest of Clara Montanez.
- Stan Marcuss, who is with Bryan Cave LLP and a guest of Kathy Ward.
- Joe Martin, a Policy Fellow with the Syrian Emergency Task Force and a guest of John Martin.
- Lee Niederman, a consultant with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and a guest of Guillermo Grajales.
- Diego Grajales, Vice President of Kazen Services and a guest of Guillermo Grajales.
- Gaynelle Evans, a writer and producer and a guest of John Danner.
- Isaac Crawford, CEO of the Wahconah Group and a guest of John Danner.
The following visiting Rotarians from the United States introduced themselves: John Martin from Hudson Wisconsin and Nick Cieslinski, who is the Secretary of the Moorestown Breakfast Rotary Club. Nick’s classification is international development.
Sergeant-at-Arms Peggy Schoen announced the following birthdays:
- Lisa Cohen, whose birthday was April 15. Lisa joined in 2010 and was sponsored by Kenny Barnes. Her classification is non-profit, youth services.
- Don Messer, whose birthday is April 19. Don joined the Club in 1976 and was sponsored by Robert Cerouny. His classification is counseling, sciences and engineering.
- Arrel Olano, whose birthday is April 20. Arrel Olano joined the Club in 2012. He was a member of the Midland West, Texas Rotary Club between 2004 and 2006. He was sponsored by Abe Helal and his classification is medicine, internal.
- Ats Van Hattum, whose birthday is April 20. Ats is an honorary member of our Club. He lives in France and is a regular supporter of our Foundation. He was sponsored by Strong Legs Richardson in 2001. His classification is diplomatic service, Netherlands.
President Elect Shaun encouraged people to attend the District Convention, which will be held on April 25 through April 28 at the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City. The deadline for registration is April 21.
President Elect Shaun announced that the Jamaica Parks Committee would meet with Dick Pyle after the Club’s meeting.
Clara Montanez introduced the speaker Bruce Zagaris and his topic by stating that there is approximately $20 trillion dollars that is unaccounted for and not being taxed. Governments are mounting attacks on tax havens and those that use them. Bruce is a Tax and International Criminal Law attorney with Berliner, Corcoran and Rowe LLP. Bruce reiterated the $20 trillion figure and stated that every day there are news articles about tax controversies even among governments. Furthermore, governments are increasing “going criminal”, that is seeking criminal prosecution in tax cases. Bruce referenced the tension between governments who want revenue and individuals and corporations that seek to minimize their tax payments.
In addition to going criminal, government are increasingly going after professionals – lawyers, accountants and even banks – that market phony offshore products. Beginning in 2008, the US Government has been attacking US taxpayers using such products with criminal and civil actions. It has brought cases against foreign banks demanding that they turn over records of US taxpayers. Similarly, it has sought such records from US and foreign attorneys and asset managers. He discussed the voluntary disclosure programs for US taxpayers with assets from legal enterprises in offshore tax havens. He also discussed the Foreign Account Taxpayer Compliance Act, which was passed by Congress in March 2010 and will go into effect next year.
Bruce stated that globalization has increasingly allowed people to arrange their assets in creative ways. Tax havens have increased and the most successful are actually located in the United States in such states as Delaware, Nevada, Florida and New York. Among the foreign locations are London, Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas. Increasingly countries are agreeing to share information that assists in tax collection.
Not surprisingly, there were many questions from the Club after Bruce’s talk. He agreed to remain after the meeting to respond to additional questions.
Kathy Ward won the raffle’s small pot, which was $62, but she did not win the large pot, which was $256.
The meeting was supported by the following:
- Haleh Vaziri sold the raffle tickets.
- Stu Shalloway manned the hospitality table.
- Liz Salett and Ken Kimbrough greeted Rotarians as they arrived.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 PM.