Law firm at the center of the Panama Papers scandal continues to face legal challenges and investigations
Confidential emails revealed in the Panama Papers have opened a new front in a bitter court battle in Nevada involving a hedge fund led by an American billionaire, new court filings show.
NML Capital, a hedge fund managed by New York investor Paul Singer, is suing the Nevada office of Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the center of the Panama Papers scandal, for obstruction of justice.
The current legal action has its roots in Singer’s long fight to reclaim funds lost when Argentina defaulted on government bonds held by NML. Mossack Fonseca was not named as a defendant, but its Nevada operations were targeted with a court order demanding information about companies administered through the law firm that the hedge fund claimed may have been involved in the theft of millions of dollars from Argentine government contracts.
New York’s top financial regulator slapped a “Panama Papers”-linked bank with a $180 million fine for anti-money laundering violations.
Mega Bank, a $103 billion Taiwanese bank with one New York office, ignored the risks associated with transactions involving Panama, a high-risk area for money laundering, the state Department of Financial Services said in a statement on Friday.
The bank had “suspicious” accounts that were formed with the help of Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the center of the “Panama Papers” leak, which revealed companies and wealthy individuals who dodged taxes, the DFS said.
The bank had lax controls and relied on untrained personnel, including a chief compliance officer who wasn’t familiar with anti-money-laundering rules.
GOP presidential nominee Donald J. Trump sent shudders through US foreign policy circles and the international community this week, when he suggested that, as president, he might not fulfill America’s promises to defend NATO members against a Russian attack. That departure from historical American policies, and Republican wisdom, came days after the Trump campaign reportedly softened the GOP platform’s hardline stance against pro-Russian rebels fighting to control Ukraine.
Those moves were less surprising to critics of Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who for more than a decade has cultivated business ties to pro-Russian politicians and industrialists in Ukraine.
Now, Fusion has learned that the names of several of Manafort’s connections appear in shell company records from the notorious Panama Papers and the Offshore Leaks, troves of information on offshore companies unearthed in recent years by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
Netflix is looking for its Spotlight.
The Los Gatos-based streaming service announced Tuesday that it is tackling the definitive story behind The Panama Papers, which some deem the biggest leak in the history of journalism.
The leak released 2.6 terabytes of data in 11.5 million documents tracking billions of dollars over almost 40 years. In the process, world leaders, athletes and celebrities around the globe were implicated.
More than 370 journalists from more than 100 media outlets in almost 80 countries around the world worked on the story, but it was German journalists Frederik Obermaier and Bastian Obermayer — and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists — that took the lead.
Netflix has acquired the rights to Obermaier and Obermayer’s book The Panama Papers: Breaking the Story of How the Rich and Powerful Hide Their Money
HELSINKI (AP) — The Nordic region’s largest bank said Wednesday it will close 68 accounts at its Luxembourg branch as it adopts tougher rules on clients using offshore companies.
Nordea Bank has carried out an internal investigation after Swedish broadcaster SVT, one of hundreds of media with access to leaked documents detailing offshore accounts, reported that Nordea’s Luxembourg unit worked with Panamanian firm Mossack Fonseca to help customers set up shell companies.
Bernard Madoff’s feeder funds show up in the Panama Papers
2 other managers who used offshores to hide assets find themselves in jail
One fund manager says there is room for more transparency
The kinds of secret offshore companies that have hidden political corruption and tax evasion around the world are often used by Wall Street’s biggest money makers — the $2 trillion hedge fund industry.
The now-famous Panama Papers leak offers rare insight into the workings of this exclusive investment club.
Hedge funds accept individual investors with net worths of $1 million or more and worker pension funds with $5 million or more. They and their investors often locate in tax havens such as the Cayman Islands or the British Virgin Islands.
The names found in the leaked files from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca include two now-imprisoned hedge fund managers, a major “feeder fund” that was part of the largest-ever Ponzi scheme run by Bernard Madoff and several anonymous investors whose offshore companies became tangled in the Madoff web.
In the aftermath of the Madoff scandal and the 2008 U.S. financial crisis, hedge funds have been forced to register with regulators, and they face severe penalties under a new “bad actor rule” if they take money from criminals or proceeds of corruption.“Most financial institutions do require considerable information on investors” today, said Robert Van Grover, an attorney with Seward & Kissel LLP in New York who thought the abuses found in the Panama Papers “would be very difficult in the United States” now.
But the hedge fund managers and their investors identified in the leaked documents by McClatchy and partners underscore what has been a weakness in oversight: They often used secret offshore companies, which hid investor fraud and potentially unsavory investors from U.S. regulators.
It’s not often a single anonymous message can result in ripples being made around the world’s political and economic elite. The one sent to Bastian Obermayer did.
The message the investigative journalist received was from ‘John Doe’ – the unknown whistleblower responsible for thePanama Papers’ revelations.
Iceland’s prime minister resigned; 800 companies are being investigated in Australia; 64 firms are being grilled in the UK;“Putinphobia” was created; and Obama called for global tax changes.
“At the beginning I didn’t think this was the new big story,” Obermayer, 38, told WIRED. Once the source had made contact and some initial verification documents had been sent, the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper journalist met colleague Frederik Obermaier and drank ouzo in a “shabby” Greek restaurant in Munich.
Now, several months after the global story broke and implicated world leaders, the pair has detailed the inside story of its investigation in a new book. A statement inside the book from ‘Doe’ says the 11.5 million documents, totalling 2.6 terabytes of data, were released to stop “massive, pervasive corruption”.