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Panama Papers – Global Effects Thus Far & Continuing Impact



Ron Marini

In April 2016, we posted “Huge Leak From the Panamanian Law Firm Mossack Fonseca!” where we discuss that the offshore planning world was set on fire with the news that 11 million documents were leaked from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

They show how Mossack Fonseca has helped clients launder money, dodge sanctions and evade tax. The company says it has operated beyond reproach for 40 years and has never been charged with criminal wrong-doing.

Gerard Ryle, director of the ICIJ, said at the time, that the documents covered the day-to-day business at Mossack Fonseca over the past 40 years.

While no reference was initially made regarding U.S. clients, we correctly speculated that U.S. persons will probably show up, given that Mossack Fonseca apparently maintained a branch in Las Vegas, Nevada, under the name of M.F. Company Services and Mossack Fonseca Company Services was currently attempting to fight a subpoena brought in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada seeking information on at least 123 companies that it created.

Fast-forward 8 months later and the investigation has produced an almost daily drumbeat of regulatory moves, follow-up stories and calls by politicians and activists for more action to combat offshore financial secrecy and ICIJ recently posted Panama Papers Have Had Historic Global Effects — and the Impacts Keep Coming where they cover the following repercussions:

  • At least 150 inquiries, audits or investigations into Panama Papers revelations have been announced in 79 countries around the world.
  • An estimated $135 billion was wiped off the value of nearly 400 companies after the Panama Papers.
  • Governments are investigating more than 6,500 taxpayers and companies, and have recouped at least $110 million so far in unpaid taxes or asset seizures.
  • Nine Mossack Fonseca offices have shuttered around the world, and the law firm has been fined close to half a million dollars.

 

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Tony Beecher

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