A man operated a "warehouse bank" out of his suburban home, taking at least $28 million from people around the country who wanted a discrete bank account, according to court documents.
An IRS investigator said Robert Arant had hundreds of customers, many of whom apparently used his bank, Olympic Business Systems LLC, to conceal assets for the purpose of evading taxes.
On his now-defunct Web site, Arant advertised his services to those "who would rather not deal directly with the banking system," court records said.
This guy would have been a libertarian hero in the 1970s and '80s. A little history for you:
Warehouse bank schemes were popular as illegal tax shelters in the 1980s, but several have been busted in more recent years — including one broken up in Boring, Ore., in 2000, involving $186 million in deposits from 900 people over 14 years. The six organizers of that scheme were sentenced to up to four years in prison.
The king of semi/illegal tax shelters: Former LP presidential candidate Harry Browne, who originally make his name (and fortune?) with books like Harry Browne's Complete Guide to Swiss Banks (1976) and You Can Profit from a Monetary Crisis (1974).
Via Fark, which describes the news thusly: "IRS agents discover man running a "secret bank" out of his suburban home. In other news, there are people willing to give nearly $28 million to a guy running a bank out of his house."