Panama Papers: Exposure for International Citizens

The Panama Papers, a massive trove of leaked documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca & Co., exposed evidence of the firm creating hundreds of thousands of shell companies and offshore accounts for clients worldwide.  U.S. federal prosecutors from the Department of Justice’s main office in Washington and Manhattan’s U.S. attorney’s office have continued investigations into the law firm, its employees, and their clients, investigating matters related to money laundering, tax evasion and bribery.

In 2015, a federal judge in Nevada ruled that Mossack Fonseca is subject to the jurisdiction of U.S. courts due to the existence of M.F. Corporate Services, a Las Vegas-based “alter-ego” of the firm which Mossack claims is merely an “independent contractor.”  This ruling has opened the door for U.S. tax authorities to request information and probe through transactions conducted by M.F. Corporate Services, which tie back to Mossack Fonseca in Panama.  This exposes international clients who may only have limited contact with the United States to be potentially at risk of prosecution by U.S. tax authorities.

Individuals are advised to determine whether you or your assets may be at risk.  Contact us for a thorough analysis of your exposure.