UNITE HERE Canada launches website revealing offshore accounts used by owners of Canadian real estate giant, Larco Investments
May 18, 2016
Several related entities named in Panama Papers
Vancouver – UNITE HERE Canada has launched a new website, Larco-EndTies2TaxHavens.org, detailing the use of offshore tax havens by the owners of Larco Investments, a government landlord to the Canada Revenue Agency and dozens of other government agencies.
The owners of Larco Investments, a top Canadian real estate investor with interests in the UK and the U.S., have utilized an array of offshore structures in the British Virgin Islands and Liechtenstein to hold multinational real estate assets. Offshore vehicles affiliated with the owners' UK assets are named in the Panama Papers, as are firms who serve as officers and intermediaries to shell companies and a family foundation tied to a Las Vegas casino.
Larco-EndTies2TaxHavens.org explores Larco's connections to these offshore vehicles, including those named in the Panama Papers. Leaked data from the Panama Papers shows Mossack Fonseca once served as an agent for a shell corporation tied to the owners' UK assets and reveals ties to a foundation linked to the Royal Bank of Canada. RBC reportedly registered hundreds of shell companies through Mossack Fonseca on behalf of clients.
Larco acquired a portfolio of seven federal complexes in a controversial 25-year sale-leaseback agreement with the Government of Canada in 2007. The Canada Revenue Agency is a major tenant in several of the buildings managed by affiliates of Larco. Details on Larco's government tenants in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton are featured in the new website. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister Diane Lebouthillier have called for measures to better equip the CRA to pursue cases of aggressive tax avoidance and tax evasion.
While there is no evidence of wrong-doing on the part of Larco or its owners, the purpose of this website is to provide a window into how a government partner has utilized offshore tax havens.
UNITE HERE Canada represents hospitality workers throughout the country, including workers at several properties owned by Larco. UNITE HERE Canada supports government efforts to end the use of offshore tax havens by wealthy individuals and corporations.