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Tax Analysts




This paper considers the remaining seven (7) Missing Trader Intra-Community (MTIC) fraud schemes alleged (some conceded) to have been conducted by Samir Azizi, a 25 year old German/Afghan citizen, who was extradited from the United States to Germany on April 14, 2015. The MTIC fraud schemes considered in this Part II involve alleged losses of €45,801,403 under 63 further criminal counts.

Underlying both Parts of this assessment is a fundamental (but unanswered) question: “Who exactly is Samir Azizi? Is he the mastermind of a multi-million euro VAT fraud, a fundraising fraudster for terrorist organizations, or a youthful face-of- convenience disguising the involvement of larger criminal organizations?”

The terrorist connection is the most troubling aspect of this case. Judge Howard R. Lloyd in his Extradition Order states that “… there were also indicators that perpetrators were using the VAT procured through such fraud, not only for personal enrichment, but also to finance terrorism.” The prosecutor’s allegation is in the Formal Request for Extradition (FRE) states: “There are numerous indications here that the cash flows are used to finance terrorism.”

Instead, the facts and fiscal dynamics of these frauds sketch out a cash flow MTIC fraud that uses payment platforms to direct a predetermined “cut” of the “profits” to “workers” and to “investors.” The workers do not appear to be terrorists, but the investors may be a different story. The investors are the people who have put up tens of millions of euro to prime the pumps of this fraudulent enterprise, and these individuals could well have other interests.

What we have in the Azizi extradition is the German government’s view of Samir Azizi’s activities. What makes the Azizi extradition unique is that the FRE is not just government allegations; it is also full of admissions. Some of these admissions are expressly referenced by the German prosecutor not just as a statement of Azizi’s interpretation of events, but as a statement of fact that the German government has confirmed as true though further investigation. There are three sections of the FRE where this occurs: a three page section dealing with the operation of payment platforms; a four page section dealing with payment platform allocation of profits among the investors; a six page section that details the involvement of the Deutsche Bank (Frankfurt and London) in the fraud chain.

But there is more. From the Complaint we know there is much, much more, close to 3,000 pages more in the Azizi confessions that has not been disclosed to the court, nor to the US Attorney and the defense team, and which has certainly not been made public. Within these 3,000 pages is most likely the extended discussion of the terrorist connection that appears to be referenced by the German prosecutor in the RFE and is echoed by Judge Howard R. Lloyd in his Extradition Order. There are most likely more references to the payment platforms, and to the involvement of the Deutsche Bank. None of this detail needed to be brought forward, although it is clear that it is ready.

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