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4 men were charged in connection with the investigation of Panama Papers



The Panama Papers, published in April 2016, consisted of more than 11 million documents linking Mossack Fonseca to a broad network of international influence. The company had allegedly opened covert companies and offshore accounts to protect the assets of high rollers worldwide. Representatives of Russian President Vladimir Putin, leader of FIFA and men accused of corruption by the United States, are all due to the newspapers. The newspaper then referred 12 current or former leaders of the world and 128 other politicians and officials.

The four men were indicted on Tuesday in an eleven-time indictment, and three had been arrested on Tuesday afternoon. The Ministry of Justice said that German citizen Dirk Brauer and 81

-year-old Harald Joachim of Der Goltz and US citizen Richard Gaffey had been arrested in the past three weeks. The Panamanian citizen Ramses Owens is still at large.

The identity of the lawyers of the four defendants was not immediately clear on Tuesday night. According to reports from that year, Mossack Fonesca announced that he would close in March 2018. The email address listed on the company's Facebook page is no longer active.

According to the indictment, Owens and Brauer opened offshore trusts and undeclared bank accounts in Panama, Hong Kong and the British Virgin Islands – countries with stringent data protection regulations for banks – for US clients of Mossack Fonseca. They then planned to hide the assets and investments, later they generated revenues and ownership of the clients in the accounts in front of the IRS.

The names of customers often did not appear in any of the related documents, but the customers were in possession of and had full access to the accounts, the Department of Justice claimed. According to the US Department of Justice press release (19659003), the two employees had managed the "minutes of corporate meetings, resolutions, e-mail forwarding and signature services" – essentially a paper path to legitimize the companies.

Owens and Brauer are also said to have shown this to their customers, as they use debit cards and counterfeits to repay money to the US, without revealing the secret accounts.

Von Der Goltz, a former US citizen and taxpayer, was allegedly a customer of Mossack Fonseca, who had hidden several million dollars by prosecuting Owens and Gaffey with shell companies and bank accounts, according to the indictment. The 81-year-old failed to submit a report on foreign bank and financial accounts required by residents with a financial interest of more than $ 10,000.

The trio also allegedly lied that von Goltz's older mother had the fake accounts. Because she was a Guatemalan citizen and did not live in the United States, like Von Der Goltz.

Gaffey also teamed with Owens to help another, nameless client mislead the IRS by setting up about $ 4 million.

Charles Riley of CNN, Laura Perez Maestro, Euan McKirdy, Elizabeth Gonzalez and Alla Eshchenko contributed to this report.


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