Saturday, October 31, 2020

Accountant pleads guilty in U.S Panama Papers case

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A Massachusetts accountant pleaded guilty to US charges stemming from the massive tax evasion strategy orchestrated by Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca revealed by the Panama Papers leak.

Richard Gaffey, 75, pleaded guilty on Friday,  February  28  in New York to eight charges, including tax evasion, money laundering, and electronic fraud. He also agreed to give up $5 4 million and will pay $3.4 million in compensation. Gaffey will be sentenced on June 29.

He was one of four accused by federal prosecutors in 2018 It was the first criminal case – and the only one so far – related to the large number of fictitious company records revealed by a consortium of journalists in 2016. Mossack Fonseca was dissolved in 2018.

The records showed how Mossack Fonseca worked with European banks to create more than 200,000 ghost extraterritorial companies for wealthy clients – including world leaders, prominent athletes and performers, and criminals – used to hide billions of dollars in transactions.

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Gaffey was an accountant for Harald Joachim von der Goltz, 82, founder of Boston Capital Ventures, who invested in small, high-growth businesses. Von der Goltz pleaded guilty to the charges in the case last week. He would have accumulated foreign interests close to $ 70 million through a maze of corporations, foundations and bank accounts.

Two other defendants in the New York case, Ramses Owens – partner of Mossack Fonseca – and Dirk Brauer – manager of an affiliated investment firm – were arrested in Panama and Paris and have not yet appeared in the United States. Prosecutors said they were both responsible for creating and managing the structures for two decades that US taxpayers used so that millions of assets would not pay taxes.

 

Original article on menafn.com

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