Panama Papers leak that shuttered law firm leads to US indictment of lawyer, three others

Criminal Justice

- Panama Papers leak that shuttered law firm leads to US indictment of lawyer, three others

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A Massachusetts accountant and a Panamanian lawyer are among four people charged in a federal indictment stemming from the so-called Panama Papers leak of hacked legal documents.

Prosecutors claim the hacked law firm, Panama-based Mossack Fonseca, participated in a decadeslong scheme to circumvent U.S. tax laws by shuffling money through offshore accounts and shell companies. Mossack Fonseca shut down in March, citing “irreversible damage” from the April 2016 leak.

The indictment was unsealed on Tuesday, according to a Department of Justice press release. Among those charged are Mossack Fonseca lawyer Ramses Owens, who remains at large, and accountant Richard Gaffey of Medford, Massachusetts, who was arrested on Tuesday. Courthouse News Service, the New York Times, Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, the McClatchy D.C. Bureau and USA Today have coverage.

Also charged are a German investment adviser and a German citizen formerly living in the United States who allegedly avoided U.S. taxes by claiming assets were owned by his mother.

The defendants were charged with wire fraud, tax fraud, money laundering and other offenses.

Prosecutors say Owens and the German investment adviser created and marketed sham foundations and shell companies to conceal from the IRS ownership of accounts at overseas banks, as well as the income generated. Gaffey is accused of aiding alleged U.S. tax dodges by the German citizen and another client identified as “Client-1.”

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Author: Edward Lott

Edward Lott, Ph.D., M.B.A. is president and managing partner of Allentown-based ForLawFirmsOnly Marketing, Inc., a local search and digital marketing agency that offers clients lead generation, local seo and Google Maps Domination. Ed has been a digital entrepreneur since 1994, having discovered very early the opportunities the Internet offered. After having spent over two decades helping attorneys grow their practice, Ed joined the staff of ForLawFirmsOnly Marketing as President and Managing Partner, where he is expanding the agency’s cutting-edge services to the legal market. A true marketing futurist, Ed's vast experience working directly with attorneys has given him a unique perspective on law firm marketing not found in many other digital marketing agencies. Ed has reshaped the offerings of ForLawFirmsOnly to focus on growing law firms through a holistic approach to digital marketing evident in the reformulated lead generation processes now in place. Want to learn more about ForLawFirmsOnly Marketing, their lead generation programs, or just talk to Ed about his visions for helping law firms grow? Call him at 855-943-8736.

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