How to Hide $400 Million

“A few weeks after she realized her husband was finally leaving her, Sarah Pursglove flew down to the Bahamas to figure out how much money he really had.”

So begins an excellent article by Nicholas Confessore in the Nov. 30, 2016, edition of The New York Times Magazine. It dives deep into one example of how things work inside “a worldwide financial system catering exclusively to the very wealthy.”

“In recent decades,” Confessore writes, “this system has become astonishingly effective at ‘offshoring’ wealth — detaching assets, through complex layers of ownership and legal planning, from their actual owners, often by hiding them in another country. Created by lawyers, accountants and private bankers and operating out of a global archipelago of European principalities, former British colonies and Asian city-states, the system has one main purpose: to make the richest people in the world appear to own as little as possible.”

Pursglove’s husband was Robert Oesterlund, an entrepreneur of sorts whose companies included a direct-mail firm called Credit Key Express, which promised credit cards to people with bad credit, a series of Columbia House-style online membership clubs, and a company which sold banner ads and software, including ‘toolbars’ that promised to clean viruses off your computer or free up space on your hard drive.

According to the article, he worked very, very hard to hide his true net worth.

Read the full article here: How to Hide $400 Million

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