On April 4, 2016 we posted Huge Leak From the Panamanian Law Firm Mossack Fonseca! where we discussed 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 allegedly show how Mossack Fonseca has helped clients launder money, dodge sanctions and evade tax.
This post also 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 is 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.
Then on April 18, 2016 we posted Have An Un-Reported Account Associated With Mossack Fonseca? Like Your Freedom? Call Us! where we discussed that U.S. federal agents and prosecutors told NBC News earlier that they had begun to mobilize in an effort to obtain and use the Panama Papers to bolster Existing Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions and to Launch New Ones.
Now The Guardian reports that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has “led several crusades against criminal wrongdoing in the financial sector, is already investigating several of the more than 200 US citizens named in the papers.”
The ICIJ received an email, published by the Guardian, from U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara for the Southern District of New York indicating that his office had “opened a criminal investigation regarding matters to which the Panama Papers are relevant.” Further, his office would greatly appreciate the opportunity to speak as soon as possible with any ICIJ employee or representative involved in the Panama Papers Project in order to discuss this matter further.”
The failure to declare certain interests in foreign financial accounts and assets can potentially bring about significant civil penalties and in egregious situations, the possibility of criminal problems.
In today's environment, where there is rampant computer hacking and where governments are paying staggering whistleblowing rewards for information about ANYONE who currently has unreported income or money in an offshore account, needs to be aware that these types of leaks of perceived confidential information from an internal data base of a law firm, trust company, financial institution or otherwise can occur at anytime, anywhere in the world!
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Read more at: Tax Times blog