Cayman Islands firms admit to helping evade US taxes

NEW YORK (AP) — Two Cayman Islands-based financial firms have pleaded guilty in New York to conspiring to hide more than $130 million in offshore bank accounts from the Internal Revenue Service in order to evade paying U.S. taxes.

Cayman National Securities Ltd. and Cayman National Trust Co. Ltd. entered the pleas in Manhattan federal court Wednesday. The two companies provide investment brokerage and trust management services.

Prosecutors say CNS and CNT opened and or encouraged U.S. taxpayer-clients to open accounts in the name of sham Caymanian companies and trusts and allowed them to trade in U.S. securities without disclosing their identities to the IRS.

Under the guilty pleas, the firms have agreed to pay a total of $6 million in restitution and fines.

Messages seeking comment from the companies weren’t immediately returned.

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