Panama documents, revealed in April 2016, consisted of more than 11 million documents linking Mossack Fonseca with an extensive network…
Panama documents, revealed in April 2016, consisted of more than 11 million documents linking Mossack Fonseca with an extensive network of international influence. The company claimed openly hidden shell companies and offshore accounts to protect the wealth of high-rollers worldwide – associated with Russian president Vladimir Putin, FIFA leaders and men accused of corruption by the United States have all been traced back to the newspapers. The theses involved 12 current or former world leaders at the time, as well as 128 other politicians and public officials.
The four men were accused in an 11th accusation Tuesday and three had been arrested from Tuesday afternoon. The Justice Department said German citizen Dirk Brauer and 81
-year-old Harald Joachim Von Der Goltz, as well as US citizen Richard Gaffey, have been arrested in the last three weeks. Panama’s Ramses Owens is still big.
The attorney’s identities representing the four prosecuted men were not immediately clear Tuesday evening. Reports from earlier this year indicate that Mossack Fonesca announced it would be closed in March 2018. The e-mail address listed on the Facebook page of the company is no longer active.
According to the accusation, Owens and Brauer opened offshore trust and unresolved bank accounts in Panama, Hong Kong and the British Virgin Islands – countries with strict banking regulations for privacy – for American customers from Mossack Fonseca. They then conspired to conceal the assets, investments, later generated revenue, and customers’ ownership of those accounts from the IRS.
Client names often did not appear on any of the related paperwork, but customers were determined to own and had full access to the accounts, the Justice Department said. The two affiliated companies managed the accounts “business minutes, resolutions, mail forwarding and signature services” – essentially produce a paper trail to legitimize the companies, according to the press release from the Ministry of Justice.
Owens and Brauer also showed their customers how to use debit cards and fake purchases to repatriate money to the United States without revealing secret accounts.
Von Der Goltz, a former US resident and taxpayer, claims to be a Mossack Fonseca client who concealed tens of millions of dollars by setting up shell companies and bank accounts with Owens and Gaffey, a US accountant, according to the accusation. The 81-year-old failed to submit a report on foreign banks and financial accounts, required by residents with a foreign economic interest of more than $ 10,000.
The trio also claimed that Von Der Goltz’s older mother owned the fake accounts because she was a guatemalan citizen and resident, and thus not a US taxpayer, like von Der Goltz.
Gaffey also worked with Owens to help another, nameless customer to deceive the IRS by establishing offshore accounts to hold about $ 4 million.
CNN’s Charles Riley, Laura Perez Maestro, Euan McKirdy, Elizabeth Gonzalez and Alla Eshchenko contributed to this report.