The ‘Panama Papers’ And You. Part Two

Feb 6, 2017


By Stanley S. Arkin and Robert C. Angelillo

Editor’s Note: Last month, the authors began a discussion of the legal consequences of the release of the so-called “Panama Papers,” a trove of more than 11.5 million documents a whistleblower gave to a reporter at the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) in Spring 2016. The documents detail how certain wealthy people — including foreign government leaders — hid assets in offsore entities created by Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonesca for clients allegedly seeking to avoid taxation in their home countries. Since the release of the Panama Papers, several consequences have ensued, including, as discussed last month, 1) the public disgrace and resignation of foreign public officials and 2) the commencement of tax avoidance investigations. Additionally, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York has opened an investigation into the finances of the reported 240 U.S. citizens identified in some way with the firm and its scheme. The subject of this inquiry has not been fully disclosed, but it may be that tax avoidance is just one of the subjects the government is interested in investigating. The authors conclude their analysis of the fallout accompanying the release of the Panama Papers herein.

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