Opinion: Crime pays

POSTED: 02/8/13 1:34 PM

Marcel Loor, the fallen head of immigration, made the front page again today, after a court ruling ordered him and his girlfriend Charlene Craig to pay 460,000 guilders each to the state. The alternative is three years in prison.

The seizure of Loor and Craig’s assets is the final piece in a long-running legal battle. The couple was sentenced for defrauding the Coast Guard, fraud with Dutch social benefits, tax evasion and money laundering. In the process, Loor and Craig brought down the Standard Trust company, the vehicle they used to funnel their money to offshore accounts.

What was now exactly the total of the criminal proceeds the couple amassed? The court arrived at a grand total of 2,211,667 guilders – about $1,235,568.

And how much does the prosecution want to seize? That is 920,000 guilders, or about $513,966. And why did the court not seize all criminal proceeds? That’s simple: the court considers it plausible that Loor had some savings when he came to the Caribbean and that he received gifts from his parents and grandparents. That just have been a generous family then – or Loor must have been a keen saver. Not many people manage to put more than $700,000 on the side (to be exact: $721,602 – the difference between the calculated criminal proceeds and the money Loor and Craig have to surrender).

We are not envious of people who manage to squirrel away money – we’re just curious to know how they do it.

The court has pinpointed the criminal proceeds at about $1.2 million – and the impression many people now will get is this one: the convicted couple gets to keep most of it. They have to give up 41.6 percent and they are allowed to keep 58.4 percent. Conclusion: the position that crime does not pay is not tenable. In that sense, these figures look like an encouragement for others.

We’re not even sure this is the end of the story, because among the charges were also tax-related offenses. It is therefore quite possible that the tax inspectorate will skin Loor and Craig as well in the near future – if it has not already done so. At least, the taxman has an idea about the leftovers.

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