Scandal in the Alps: Liechtenstein's LGT Records Hold Data on 1,400 People; Some US Citizens

LGT Bank

We’ve been watching this story bubble for a couple of weeks now. Basically, the German government is currently investigating Liechtenstein’s LGT bank regarding billions in lost taxes due to ‘secretive’ banking practices. Liechtenstein is a principality, sort of like Monaco.

US Senator, Carl Levin, wants to know if any US tax money is involved. “Liechtenstein’s LGT Bank, which is owned by the royal family, has apparently harbored numerous secret accounts which hid the taxable assets of thousands of citizens from around the world,” Levin said in a statement,” Levin said in a recent AFP article

Liechtenstein has said it would maintain its banking privacy and ‘tax-haven status which provides the small principality with a lucrative income.’

Question: If the data was stolen back in 2002, then why has it taken so long for the scandal to hit? What entities on the ‘list’ got a ‘heads up’ warning before it all hit the fan? And was LGT used to hide terrorist money? — PID

US Lawmaker says Americans hid assets at LGT Bank
British govt says it bought Liechtenstein bank data
Senator plans Liechtenstein bank inquiry
Liechtenstein accuses Germany of attacking its sovereignty

Feb 25, 2008 (BLOOMBERG) — The U.K.’s tax collection department confirmed that it was investigating Britons with bank accounts in Liechtenstein. The prosecutor’s office in Bochum, Germany, now has records from a second Liechtenstein bank, and investigators have begun 700 individual preliminary proceedings, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported.

The probe has expanded to at least five German states and the U.S. and led to the resignation of Deutsche Post AG Chief Executive Officer Klaus Zumwinkel on Feb. 15. U.S. Senator Carl Levin said last week he wants to open an investigation into whether American citizens are hiding assets in Liechtenstein. Full Report