A spokeswoman for Mossack Fonseca directed all inquiries to the firm’s website, which says the firm “has never been accused or charged in connection with criminal wrongdoing.”
The investigation, led by the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office and the Justice Department’s main office in Washington, is focused on whether individuals within Mossack Fonseca worked with clients to knowingly facilitate criminal activity, according to people familiar with the matter. Prosecutors are considering charges that could include conspiracies to launder money, evade taxes, and hide bribes to foreign officials, the people said.
To bring any charges, U.S. prosecutors would have to prove that Mossack Fonseca’s lawyers knew they were helping clients conduct illegal activities or were willfully blind.
Prosecutors also will have to ensure that the evidence they use from the Panama Papers isn’t protected by attorney-client privilege.
In our April 25, 2016 post entitled DoJ Launches Criminal Investigation of Hundreds of US Taxpayers Named in Panama Papers Leak!we discussed that 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.
In 2015, a federal judge in Nevada ruled that Mossack Fonseca was subject to the U.S. court’s jurisdiction due to the existence of M.F. Corporate Services in Nevada, which the judge said was a Las Vegas-based “alter ego” for the firm.
As we further discussed in our June 25, 2016 post Nevada & Wyoming Asked to Provide Information on Entities Linked to the “Panama Papers” Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) has asked the Nevada Secretary of State to provide specific information on over 1,000 Nevada business entities that have been linked to the so-called “Panama Papers” scandal. Nevada's law allows it to demand a list of beneficial owners of any entity registered in Nevada and suspected of illegal activities. Senator Wyden has also requested that the Wyoming Secretary of State provide specific information on the 24 Wyoming business entities that are linked to the scandal.
Lets just say that this is not an ideal time to be a Mossack Fonseca client with undeclared offshore income and is now it is also not a good time for Mossack Fonseca employees who may have been involved with or willfully blind to tax evasion, money laundering or other unlawful acts.
Read more at: Tax Times blog