The Panama Papers have shined a light on how the powerful and wealthy can hide behind offshore shell companies. But not everyone bothers with a foreign disguise, even when committing fraud.
Take the case of patent lawyer Jason T. Throne, who last week pled guilty to fraud and tax evasion charges stemming from fake patent services he billed to Hunter Douglas Inc., where he served as in-house counsel for over 20 years.
Throne and his wife created Patent Services Group Inc. (PSG), a shell company in Colorado, according to a document filed with the PTO. PSG proceeded to bill Hunter Douglas for nearly $5 million in fees for non-existent patent searches conducted since 2000. As in-house counsel, Throne then approved payment of the bills, which included patent searches purportedly performed by his wife, who is neither a lawyer nor a patent agent.
In addition to pleading guilty in the criminal case, Throne settled the civil case brought by Hunter Douglas, agreeing to repay over $5 million in restitution. He also agreed to resign from the patent bar.
Though Throne hid his involvement with PSG from Hunter Douglas, he doesn’t appear to have gone to extreme lengths to conceal the connection. The documents of incorporation list Throne’s wife, Mary Catherine Throne, as the registered agent. PSG’s corporate disclosure statement as filed in the civil suit says it has no parent or subsidiaries.
While debate over using offshore shell companies as a shield from taxes, regulators or creditors continues, the Throne case shows how fraud can occur without ever leaving home.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)