On December 5, 2018 we posted Panama Papers Lead To Indictment Of 4 (3 Professionals & 1 Client) where we discussed that New York federal prosecutors announced the indictment of attorney Ramses Owens, who remains at large, and investment manager Dirk Brauer, accountant Richard Gaffey and businessman Harald Joachim von der Goltz, all of whom have been arrested, as a warning to would-be tax criminals and those who would help them.
Now according to Law360, Harald Joachim von der Goltz who had pled not guilty to allegations of conspiracy to commit tax evasion, wire fraud and willful failure to file Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, intends to plead guilt as contained in a letter to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Charges against von der Goltz and co-defendant Richard Gaffey, an accountant, were announced in December 2018 in the wake of the 2016 Panama Papers leak of documents from Mossack Fonseca. Gaffey pled not guilty at the time.
The government has accused Gaffey of helping von der Goltz and at least one other client of Mossack Fonseca to hide money from the Internal Revenue Service.
Von der Goltz and Gaffey falsely claimed that von der Goltz's mother, who lived in Guatemala, was the sole beneficial owner of shell companies and bank accounts, according to a December 2018 statement from prosecutors.
The New York federal court refused to dismiss the accusation against Gaffey that he used the name of von der Goltz's mother in the scheme. U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman held that Second Circuit case law, including the 2013 decision in USA v. Stringer, shows the bar is low for prosecutors to bring an ID theft count before a jury.
Gaffey's legal team had argued in a December filing that the government failed to show that he stole the woman's identity, only that he had used it. They accused the government of using the count, which carriers a two-year mandatory prison term, in an “expansive” and improper manner, bringing it even though Gaffey never “engaged in identity theft of any kind.”
The case is U.S. v. Richard Gaffey and Harald Joachim von der Goltz, case number 1:18-cr-00693, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Read more at: Tax Times blog