THE TWO MILLION DOLLAR CONFISCATION
One of our own clients, last year, merely wanted to close out his account at the US’s largest stock broker. The reason for the requested closure and requested transfer of funds to an account abroad was that he was unhappy being in dollar assets. He had also made a minor complaint to the Zurich office branch manager about the poor servicing of some orders for his account. Over two million dollars in assets were in his own name with this broker. When the money never arrived at his Cayman account, the client inquired and was told that the US Treasury had seized the money (without any notice or court hearings) due to his “unusual activity.”
The only thing unusual was that he wanted to cash in his chips. This fact was reported to the Treasury. The client was informed by a computer-generated government form letter that he could recover it only by bringing a lawsuit, and appearing personally in the US courts. His claim for recovery had to be within a rather short, prescribed period. As he was an Italian and these assets were a big secret from his own government and from his spouse as well, he could not risk the exposure. He kissed his assets goodbye. “It is not a pleasant experience to have two million dollars confiscated!” he wrote us.