Bitcoin critic Schiff may have used his bank to promote tax evasion and financial crime.
The successful broker and well-known Bitcoin critic Peter Schiff has now gotten into the crosshairs himself, because his bank sees itself exposed to investigations by international law enforcement agencies.
As the Australian newspaper The Age and the renowned New York Times report, the investigations are being conducted by the Special Commission J5, which is an association of Western police authorities that handles the so-called Panama Papers. These have now apparently also become Schiff’s undoing, as “hundreds” of accounts of the Puerto Rican-based Euro Pacific Bank of Schiff are under investigation for possible tax evasion and other financial crimes.
The media reports show how almost incompetent the organization has been in the custody of the funds of shady entrepreneurs and criminals. For example, employees who were screened with only a quick Google search were hired to bring in clients such as Simon Antequetil, a well-known Australian fraud and tax evader.
The articles also reveal that the Euro Pacific has probably also cast a bad light on Schiff’s favored asset, gold.
For example, former Australian federal police officer John Chevis had already discovered in 2017 that the Australian government had connections to Euro Pacific through its Perth Mint company.
“I was very surprised”, as Chevis recalls in this context to The Age. And he continues: “I think there is a significant risk that gold held at Perth Mint through Euro Pacific Bank clients will be used as a means to an end for criminals around the world”.
In an interview with The Age last month, Schiff denied any wrongdoing by Euro Pacific. For example, his bank would “reject many more accounts than it approves because of its strict adherence to the law.
“This has nothing to do with reality,” he said.
Schiff later broke off the interview early.
A juicy detail of the reports could explain why Schiff is such an ardent critic of the market-leading crypto currency.
So says The Age:
“The security of the bank was also problematic […] at one point Russian hackers even attempted to extort 1000 Bitcoin ransom money from it, which was worth several million US dollars.
Although Schiff has been a Bitcoin critic since 2013, the attempted blackmail could be the reason why his criticism has recently become louder again. On Twitter, he was therefore also at odds with Tyler Winklevoss, the founder of the crypto exchange Gemini.
In addition, Schiff was downright paranoid about hacker attacks, especially the alleged danger of hacks on crypto currencies he repeatedly cited as an alleged point of criticism. When a teenager caused quite a stir with a hacker attack on the Twitter accounts of many celebrities, Schiff said that this was a “harbinger” for a Bitcoin hack. In April, he again warned that “technological progress increases the danger of a hack on the Bitcoin block chain.