Former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos was sentenced to eight years in jail and fined 520,000 euros on Monday. …
The ex-minister failed to declare 47,000 euros of assets in 2006, 33,000 in 2007 and 20,000 in 2008.
Also, he did not notify tax authorities that his wife Viki Stamati, also in custody, bought in 2009 the couple’s luxury home close to the Acropolis.
The court ordered that the property be seized. Judges also ruled that he cannot appeal his sentence.
This has scary parallels with FATCA and FBAR requirements. The United States debt situation is Greece on steroids. It is only a matter of time before the world rejects the US dollar as the intermediary of trade and the world’s reserve currency. When that takes place, the value of the dollar will collapse violently and the US public will start rioting in the streets in Greek style. Then, they will seek vengeance upon all those who failed to disclose financial accounts. If you want to know where the US is going, Greece is a precursor.
Now I don’t know about Greece’s democracy and their concept of rights. In the United States, however, it is a constitutional crime for the Federal government to require the inventory of personal assets and wealth taxes are unconstitutional. Thus, laws like FBAR and FATCA, therefore, are an extreme violation of the Fourth Amendment, and their fines, if applied to the full extent that the these unconstitutional laws permit, are a clear violation of the excessive fines clause in the Eighth Amendment. The FBAR fine could easily exceed 300% of assets only, but of course give Congress a chance–and desperate politicians will increase the fines to Greek levels (500% +).
I won’t defend Mr. Tsochatzopoulos. However, the fine for failure to report € 100,000 in assets (aggregated over three years!) of € 500,000 Euro, is clearly exorbitant. But then to also sentence him to eight years in prison without possibility of appeal shows that the Greek courts are seething with froth at their mouths that shows that this cradle of civilization has gone back to barbaric times when petty rulers could simply seize the property of any citizens only because his thugs were powerful and he had to feed them. The judgement against Mr. Tsochatzopoulos thus brings dread to my heart, for whither Greece goeth, so shall follow all the other bankrupt and insolvent democracies of the world. The attitude violates the Judeo-Christian world view of private property based upon the commandment, “Thou shalt not steal.” Government theft of private property is already sanctioned through civil forfeiture. This appears to be our future in the Western world.
Hat tip: Zerohedge