I’ve been spending a lot of time reading about offshore tax evasion methods in the past couple weeks and it’s truly a staggering and game-changing phenomenon. In any multinational or jurisdiction where it isn’t yet present, it will be soon.

Exhibit A: New York real estate is the new Swiss bank account

30% of all apartments between 49th and 70th Streets and between Fifth and Park Avenues are vacant at least 10 months of the year. And since 2008, around 30% of condo sales in large-scale Manhattan developments have been by buyers with overseas addresses or through secretive LLCs.

Exhibit B: China’s CCTV reveals billions of dollars laundered through little-known Guangdong program

Behind a New York City deed, there may be a Delaware LLC, which may be managed by a shell company in the British Virgin Islands, which may be owned by a trust in the Isle of Man, which may have a bank account in Liechtenstein managed by the private banker in Geneva. The true owner behind the structure might be known only to the banker.

It’s not just a New York or US phenomenon, London bankers pioneered complex money laundering through offshore hubs and now it’s global. Figuring out where laundered money is headed or where it came from is extremely difficult.