One year after the United States Department of Justice will file charges against Fernando Scherrer, one of the founding partners of BDO Puerto Rico, for an alleged fraud in the Education deparment, which also includes the former secretary, Julia Keleher, he Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested this morning the other founding partner of the accounting, auditing and corporate advisory firm on the island, Gabriel Hernández.
Hernández’s arrest occurred at his residence, as confirmed The new day.
This media communicated by telephone and by text message with the press spokesmen of the FBI and the Federal Prosecutor’s Office to find out the details and the reason for the arrest, but at the time of this publication no response was obtained.
However, the sources did not come out of their astonishment after learning of journalistic reports that suggest that the arrest of the authorized public accountant could be related to some entity or individual, in turn, a participant of Law 22.
Law 22 is the statute that grants preferential tax treatment to high-income individuals to move to Puerto Rico and that has become a target of attack from conservative sectors on the continent for cataloging it as a legal framework that promotes the island as a tax haven.
Until past noon, the judicial document system of the District Court of Puerto Rico accounted for at least three sealed documents that invoke the US Penal Code. Another 15 cases also appear sealed under the Civil Law, a way that authorities such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to file charges against third parties.
Surprise among their peers
The arrest of Hernández was received with surprise in the financial circles of the island, especially, by the prominence of the public accountant in the advice of Laws 20 and 22, as well as Law 60 and the other statutes that seek to promote Puerto Rico as an insurance and financial services center.
While Law 22 of 2012 encourages individuals with high purchasing power, Law 20 offers a 4% rate to companies in Puerto Rico to export their services to the rest of the world. Law 60 is the new Tax Incentives Code of Puerto Rico, while laws 399 of 2004 and 273 of 2012 promote the establishment of international insurers and international financial entities (EFI) on the island.
Since the approval of Laws 20 and 22, Hernández played a key role in the promotion and eventual establishment of companies and individuals to Puerto Rico not only from the continent but from other countries in Latin America and Europe.
Who is Gabriel Hernández?
In his biographical profile, it is indicated that Hernández has “substantial” experience in negotiating tax exemption packages under the different incentive laws of Puerto Rico.
Aside from being a founding partner of BDO on the island, Hernández is also Head of Tax for BDO International in the Caribbean.
BDO, which is now among the top three accounting firms in Puerto Rico, claims to have a portfolio of some 2,000 clients in Puerto Rico, a good part of them recruited by Hernández, who has also promoted the island as a business place in various international events.
BDO employs about 200 people in Puerto Rico, according to its website.
Attempts to contact Hernández were unsuccessful.