At the Center of the Storm – Mossack Fonseca
The Panama Papers leak involves the international law firm Mossack Fonseca (MF) headquartered in Panama, a notorious tax haven country. MF has offices in the U.S. (Nevada and Wyoming) and throughout the planet, conducting business with hundreds of international banks, often spinning an intricate and undetectable web of anonymous companies used to launder dirty money.
MF forms companies to facilitate hiding income and assets of, among others, heads of governments, politicians, tax evaders and drug cartels. It supplies “middlemen”– sham directors and officers — to evade detection of the actual owners. According to the Panama Papers, MF also specializes in backdating documents, often an indication of fraud.
Several of the world’s most notorious “criminal” Swiss banks, including UBS, and their subsidiaries are implicated in the Panama Papers. Recently, as Swiss banks suffer the wrath of the U.S. for their tax evasion schemes, MF has taken over direct client contact to protect them from heightened due diligence requirements (all with a wink of an eye, no doubt).