Charges against Professionals Illustrate the Shifting Legal Landscape for Professional Enablers

IMPORTANT: The full content of this page is available to premium users only.

Thursday, July 29, 2021
Austin Max Scherer

Two recent cases show efforts of tax authorities to hold professional enablers accountable.  The first concerns the Danish tax authority’s civil fraud charges against U.S. lawyer Michael Ben-Jacob.  The second involves the German government’s criminal tax fraud charges against Hanno Berger. Over the last decade, the world has witnessed increasingly sophisticated financial crimes occurring across borders.  Due to these crimes, the public interest on these issues has grown; this is due to the large coverage given to these financial crimes like the Panama Papers.  The small segment of professionals that generate opportunities to facilitate the commission and/or concealment of such crimes undermine not only the rule of law, but their own profession, public confidence in the legal and financial system, as well as the level playing field between compliant and non-compliant taxpayers.[1]  This article will explain the role of professional enablers, highlight an example of the professional enabler in practice, and raise strategies to deter future professional enablers. 


[1] Ending the Shell Game: Cracking down on the Professionals who enable Tax and White Collar Crimes, OECD,, Feb. 25, 2021 (last visited Jul. 26, 2021).