The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York charged four men with fraud, wire fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, and making false statements in connection to the so-called Panama Papers investigation. Ramses Owens, Dirk Brauer, Richard Gaffey, and Harald Joachim Von Der Goltz were accused by federal prosecutors of participating in a criminal scheme perpetrated by global law firm Mossack Fonseca & Co. Owens and Brauer allegedly “conspired with others to help U.S. taxpayer clients of Mossack Fonseca conceal assets and investments” from the IRS between 2000 and 2017 by creating “sham foundations and shell companies.” Von Der Goltz, the founder of Boston Capital Ventures, was allegedly one of Mossack Fonseca’s clients and hid his wealth in a “series of shell companies and bank accounts.” Owens and Gaffey allegedly helped Von Der Goltz evade “U.S. income taxes and reporting requirements.” Owens and Gaffey are also accused of helping an unidentified U.S. client of Mossack Fonseca to “defraud the IRS.”
The press release states that three of the men have been arrested, while Owens, a Panamanian Mossack Fonseca attorney, remains at large. Each criminal count against them carries a maximum sentence of between five and 25 years in prison. “For decades, the defendants, employees and a client of global law firm Mossack Fonseca, allegedly shuffled millions of dollars through off-shore accounts and created shell companies to hide fortunes,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in the release. “Now, their international tax scheme is over, and these defendants face years in prison for their crimes.” Mossack Fonseca’s alleged criminal scheme was first revealed in the Panama Papers document leak.