Everyone knows that Oliver Stone is a champion of the poor and downtrodden, and an enemy of the rich and evil, and of powerful government and big corporations. Everyone knows that because Stone has made his views known in his many, many boring movies and he talks about it all the time on talk shows and with reporters.
What he talks about less — indeed not at all, and he declined comment on the matter with me — is that he secretly created an offshore foundation in Liechtenstein, a leading global tax haven, documents I obtained show. Many people who set up trusts in Liechtenstein do so to evade taxes. I can’t say for sure that’s why Stone created his, especially since he has thus far declined comment.
But it appears, based on the documents, that he did not disclose the foundation to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), as I’ll discuss further later in this story. Below is an image from a document that lists thirty Americans — their names have been expunged — and the secret foundations they established in Liechtenstein. Stone’s name and foundation is second from the bottom.
What’s also curious is that Stone has repeatedly trashed President Trump on just about every topic under the sun, with a couple of glaring omissions, as far as I can tell. I can’t find any record of him trashing the president for his refusal to release his tax returns or for his mammoth tax breaks that enriched wealthy people like Oliver Stone. If he did say anything he was remarkable discreet based on Google searches I performed when looking to see what the revolutionary leftist Stone had to say on these topics.
Stone is famous as a film producer and director but with one exception, I can’t recall anything he’s done that didn’t put me to sleep. JFK had its moments but was way too long. Natural Born Killers was a total snoozefest and glorified violence in a grotesque fashion. His interviews with Vladimir Putin were lame and pure softball. The hagiographic Snowden, which stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the CIA employee-turned-NSA whistleblower, was so plodding — and filled with lies — that I would have walked out had I not been with friends who wanted to stay until the bitter, bitter end.
I didn’t even bother seeing his documentary South of the Border, a paean to Latin American leftists, even though I’m a leftist and admire some of the revolutionaries he was sucking up to. I’m glad I didn’t pay money to see it, too. During a press appearance to promote it, Stone defended Adolf Hitler, saying, “He had a lot of support” and that “Hitler did far more damage to the Russians than the Jewish people.” He went on to discuss what he called “the Jewish domination of the media,” according to an account in the New York Times.
The only thing remotely interesting Stone has ever done was the 1987 movie Wall Street, which was an all-out attack on corporate greed and shady business tactics. It told the tale of the fictional character Gordon Gekko (“Greed is Good”), a corporate raider. Gekko’s character was based on a controversial and oft-sued real-life financier, Asher Edelman.
(Asher’s brother, Jon Edelman, has been described as a “convicted deadbeat fraudster” by the New York Post. Jon Edelman “has dodged Uncle Sam for decades, thanks to a jailbreak and a yacht named Elusive,” said the newspaper. It said that Edelman and his business partner, Bernhard Manko, “made $38 billion in phony trades via shell companies, generating $511 million in tax write-offs for clueless investors, including fashion designer Perry Ellis and billionaire John Kluge,” citing prosecutors.)
Stone made Wall Street as a tribute to his father, Lou Stone, a stockbroker during the Great Depression who worked on Wall Street for fifty years. “My father believed that America’s business brought peace to the world,” Stone has been quoted as saying. “But this idea seems to have been perverted to a large degree. The Wall Street that my father worked in, the one I grew up around, is wholly different from that of today.”
Liechtenstein has long attracted the super-rich with its strict bank secrecy laws, but has been seeking to improve its image since 2018. However, Stone set up his trust years before that, when the country was considered to be one of the safest havens for tax cheats, white collar criminals and gangsters.
Below is an excerpt from a 2016 letter sent to Lee Martin, director of the IRS’s Whistleblower Office. It was sent to Martin on behalf of a whistleblower who revealed Stone’s secret foundation to the IRS. Thus far, the IRS, which has declined comment for this story, has taken no action against Stone.
If Stone replies to my request for comment, I will happily update this story. And I expect to have more details to share in a follow-up story next week.