Stashing Their Cash

Stashing Their Cash

CBC NEWS

Simplifying the complex methods used to hide wealth in offshore tax havens.

Project Details

Recent leaks of secret banking information have helped authorities around the world crack down on tax cheats who go offshore, resulting in billions of dollars recovered for the public purse. In one of the biggest ever leaks of financial data, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists released data on over 120,000 secret offshore entities in 10 different jurisdictions to their cross-border news teams at CBC News, The Guardian, Le Monde, the Washington Post, and others.

As CBC’s Special Investigations Unit poured through the data and produced stories related to Canadian companies and citizens implicated, they quickly realized the financial mechanisms at work were purposefully convoluted. To help audiences overcome these complexities, we were tasked with creating an interactive feature that explained the processes unscrupulous investors engage in to hide an estimated $32 Trillion from governments around the world.

Using simplified, non-financial language, clarifying information graphics, and an engaging game layer that puts the user into the role of the investor, we created a piece that shows how the wealthy move money offshore in order to evade taxation, and how they bring it back how without being detected, in six simple steps.

Users select a preferred tax haven, create secret identities and bank accounts, move money offshore, invest the funds, and finally try to bring it home. At each step users choose from the various instruments available to tax evaders in order to understand the risk/reward scenario of each haven and offshore transaction.

Stashing Their Cash won a Gold Award for Best Infographic at the Canadian Online Publishing Awards, was a Canadian Screen Award nominee for Best Original Interactive Production, and was featured in stories by The New York Times and Smithsonian.com.

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