Courtesy Citybizlist – An alluring necklace of islands in the sun and the jewel in the crown of South Pacific island groups, the Cook Islands may seem to be the perfect honeymoon getaway. But regulators and legislators have found that the Cooks are also a global pioneer in offshore asset-protection trusts, with “laws devised to protect foreigners’ assets from legal claims in their home countries”.
Americans have hidden nearly $1 trillion in offshore accounts around the world. But the Cooks, a self-governing state associated with New Zealand, have so far been ignored by American regulators, perhaps because the islands do not appear to have been widely used by multinational corporations nor have they been linked to terrorists. According to officials, Cook trusts provide security and secrecy.
The family that runs the Cordish Companies are among a growing group of Americans setting up so-called trusts in tiny Cook Islands in order to protect their assets from legal claims at home, The New York Times has reported.
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