top of page


Updated: Nov 9, 2023

Dark Area of Taxation

We are delighted to invite you to “Compliance, Avoidance, and Evasion in Taxation: The Role of Professionals - The Dark Area.


10th of November 2023 from 3:00 pm GMT.

• Participation is free on Zoom, subject to registration at the following link:


The event, is co-organized by Professor Diane Ring (Boston College Law School), Dr. Costantino Grasso (Manchester Law School), and Dr. Donato Vozza (Roehampton Law School).

This event is organized with the cooperation of the Italian Judicial College (Scuola Superiore della Magistratura – Sede Decentrata di Napoli) and has been included in the material used to train Italian judges in the area of tax crimes and corruption (Training Course Page in Italian).


This event represents the third International Roundtable in the series “Compliance, Avoidance, and Evasion in Taxation: The Role of Professionals.” The main goal of this International Roundtable is to examine professionals’ unethical and criminal forms of behavior in the field of taxation. The experts will investigate a range of issues related to tax fraud and evasion, focusing not just on the fundamental methods employed by professionals or their firms to facilitate these practices, but also examining their role in a broader criminal context characterized by the intersection of tax crimes with other illicit activities such as money laundering, corruption, and organized crime. The session will discuss the approaches used to hold tax practitioners accountable, including criminalization, investigative techniques, and other enforcement strategies. Finally, the session will focus on the crucial role that the enhancement of transparency measures and the protection of whistleblowers may have in countering such phenomena. By doing so, the event aims to offer a comprehensive perspective on the negative impact criminal involvement of professionals has on the taxation system and to propose potential strategies for fostering professional accountability.


INTRODUCTION AND INITIAL CASE STUDY (from 3:00 pm – 3:15 pm London Time)

This introductory section serves as the foundation for the main dialogues that will take place during the event. It aims to provide a brief summary of the project while outlining the structure of the occasion. To kick off the broader discussion, this segment features a presentation by our Special Guest, Rudolf Elmer, Certified Public Accountant, and Whistleblower. This initial engagement will establish the mood for the subsequent panel discussion.

Thematic Session 1) EVASION AND ENABLERS: THE DARK SIDE OF TAX PROFESSIONALS (from 3:15 pm – 5:15 pm London Time)

This section explores the involvement of professionals in the dark area of taxation marked by unethical and criminal forms of conduct. It scrutinizes the participation of tax professionals or related firms in the perpetration of tax crimes by investigating both their failure to prevent clients

from engaging in criminal activities and their direct involvement in committing these offenses. The experts will discuss the methods employed by professionals to facilitate or enable these unlawful actions without facing legal consequences, potentially involving strategies to avoid detection or liability while still being complicit in or aiding criminal actions related to taxation. Furthermore, the session will focus on the ways to detect and punish the professionals, or their organizations, involved in such criminal activities to explore the legal approaches used to hold them accountable, including criminalization, investigative techniques, and other enforcement strategies. It will also examine the challenges encountered by professional associations, investigators, prosecutors, and judges when seeking to counter such behavior.


This section examines the role of professionals in situations where criminal activities present interlinks between tax crimes and other offenses such as organized crime, money laundering, and corruption. One of its primary objectives is to discuss and shed light on the role that tax professionals play in these complex, interconnected spheres of criminal conduct. In particular, this section explores how the nature and features of professionals’ participation change when they are involved in these interconnected criminal practices, and assesses the societal risks posed by such dual or multiple involvements. A focus is placed on the evolving networks and relationships among professionals, clients, and financial institutions, especially as they relate to secrecy, compartmentalization, and potential network expansion. Finally, it discusses the variances in investigative, prosecutorial, and judicial approaches when dealing with professionals implicated in these interrelated spheres of criminal conduct.


Diane Ring - Professor of Law and the Dr. Thomas F. Carney Distinguished Scholar, Boston College Law School

Case Study

Rudolf Elmer - Certified Public Accountant, and Whistleblower


Tea Budinski - Deputy Municipal State Attorney, Zagreb, Croatia

Henrique de Sá Valadão Lopes - Federal Prosecutor at the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, Brazil

Calogero Ferrara - European Delegated Prosecutor (EPPO), Prosecutor’s Office of Palermo, Italy

Ahsan Habib - Senior Analyst in AML Operations Governance, Canada

Roel Kerckhoffs - Public Prosecutor at the Dutch Prosecution Department for Fraud Cases

Sacha Leeman - Public Prosecutor at the Dutch Prosecution Department for Fraud Cases

Irena Marasović - Deputy Municipal State Attorney, Zagreb, Croatia

Vasileios Petropoulos, Assistant Professor of Criminal Law and Procedure, University of Athens.

Emanuele Piano - Investigative Journalist, Director of

Matei Rosca - Investigative Journalist, Owner and Publisher of Reporter.London

Gianfranco Scarfò - Deputy Chief Prosecutor, Prosecutor’s Office of Benevento, Italy

Bernd Schlenther - Lecturer at the African Tax Institute, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Laureen Snider - Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Queen's University, Kingston, Canada

Sergio Spadaro - European Delegated Prosecutor (EPPO), Prosecutor’s Office of Milan, Italy

Brandon A. Sullivan - Independent Scholar and Expert in Criminal Justice

Massimiliano Vincenti - Investigator, European Anti-fraud Office, European Commission, Brussels

Richard Weber - Partner at Winston & Strawn LLP, former IRS Chief, Criminal Investigation Div., US

Simon York - Senior Associate Fellow at the RUSI and former HMRC Chief Investigation Officer, UK Dianne Willman - Deputy Director - Asset Forfeiture Unit, Nat. Prosecuting Authority, South Africa.

For further information, and to access the details about the event and the panelists, please visit the official event website at the following address:

Looking forward to meeting you online!


bottom of page