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The Sting That Snagged the Tax Lawyer to a Pair of Billionaires

July 12, 2022, 12:00 PM

Houston tax lawyer Carlos Kepke had been tutoring rich Americans like Robert F. Smith for decades on how to move assets offshore when an undercover agent posing as a bar owner turned up in 2018.

The goal was to gather evidence for a tax fraud case against Kepke. It wasn’t hard. As the wired agent recorded the conversation, Kepke bragged about placing assets in offshore trusts, notably in the Central American nation of Belize. Clients move money and claim to yield control, in keeping with federal law. But they decide how it’s used, not the foreign trustees.

“You never lose ...