A European tax advisor, Frank Butselaar, has been arrested on charges of establishing an extensive network of illegal tax shelters. These shelters were allegedly designed to help his clients, including internationally renowned disc jockeys on the electronic dance music scene, avoid paying taxes on over $100 million of earnings.
According to federal prosecutors in the United States, Butselaar orchestrated a complex array of off-shore tax vehicles and trusts to conceal millions of dollars in income earned by his clients while working globally. The scheme effectively obscured more than $100 million in revenue that would have been subject to U.S. tax laws during years when Butselaar’s clients conducted significant work within the country.
Although court documents do not disclose the identities of Butselaar’s clients, respected Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad has named two of them as Tiësto and Afrojack, both highly acclaimed Dutch DJs. Tiësto, often regarded as the “godfather” of modern electronic dance music, earned an estimated $39 million in 2017 according to Forbes. Afrojack, married to Italian singer Elletra Lamborghini and an heiress to the race car company fortune, is also recognized as one of the highest-paid DJs in the world.
Representatives for Tiësto and Afrojack have not responded to queries as of yet. However, as the case develops, it is expected to draw significant attention within the music industry and among fans worldwide.
Notorious Tax Evasion Case Takes a New Twist
This is not the first time that Butselaar has faced detention. He was previously held by Italian police in March but was later released as the court was yet to make a decision on his extradition case.
Annabel Vissers, Butselaar’s attorney from the Netherlands, expressed her disappointment with her client’s arrest. In an interview with a Dutch newspaper, she noted the irony of the situation, stating that her client had been anticipating this outcome despite complying with a three-month house arrest at his vacation home.
U.S. investigators, in collaboration with the Internal Revenue Service, have revealed that Butselaar allegedly funneled millions of dollars into offshore entities located in Cyprus and the Channel Islands. These entities were deliberately established to obscure any connection with his clients.
The businessman now faces further accusations of utilizing various accounts controlled by his relatives to shelter earnings made by fashion models, implicating them in his illicit financial activities.