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First Indictments in the Panama Papers Revelations

“Panama Papers” is the name given to a leak of more than 11 million documents in 2015, which detailed financial and attorney/client information from a Panamanian law firm and the wealth management firm of Mossack Fonseca showing possible tax evasion and money laundering throughout the world.

Four individuals have been indicted on charges that include wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

The names of the four charged are: Ramses Owens, a lawyer who worked for Mossack Fonseca, who remains at large; Dirk Brauer an asset manager for Mossfon Asset Management, a division of Mossack Fonseca, who was arrested in Paris; Richard Gaffey, an accountant residing in Massachusetts; and Harald Von Der Goltz, a former U.S. resident living in London, who was arrested in December, 2018 along with Gaffey.

In the unsealed indictment, it charges that Owens, Brauer and Gaffey set-up complex entities which allowed their clients to hide and invest millions of dollars which was not disclosed to the IRS.  In addition, the trio created additional schemes to cover their client’s secret offshore bank accounts in Switzerland and other countries.

Evidence was obtained in early 2017, when one of their clients decided to cooperate with the Justice Department and a meeting was set-up between Brauer and an undercover agent posing as a financial advisor.  During the meeting, Brauer proposed to have the undercover agent send his U.S. client’s money overseas and set-up a fake investment for them. Brauer then advised them to report the investment took a loss, and then after the undercover agent could move the money back to the United States without the IRS discovering it.

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