Friday, April 8, 2016

American Names Released From Panama Papers, and Hillary Clinton's Involvement Could End Her Presidential Bid

The Panama Papers are the latest media sensation, linking high-level figures of worldly power to money laundering and tax evasion schemes. Of course in the world today, these things are commonplace, yet the rich and powerful still seek anonymity.

On Tuesday, Zero Hedge released some of the American names from the leak, yet no recognizable politicians were listed. However, it at least sheds light on what the Western media machine has been reticent to release to the public—that some Americans were involved in the Panamanian scandal.

Mossack Fonseca has at least 400 American clients, yet none of them are being revealed by "trusted" media outlets who were given access to the documents. Thankfully, the team at McClatchyDC released a shortlist earlier this week.

One high-level American not named by McClatchy, but who played an instrumental role in fostering the trade deal with Panama, was presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. 

In 2011, the Panama-United States Trade Promotion Agreement was proposed in Congress and later ratified in 2012. Bernie Sanders warned that the bill would create tax havens in Panama, which already had a history of being a tax shelter for wealthy Americans.

Clinton's involvement in the deal that enabled tax havens to flourish could end her presidential bid in 2016. One wonders if this is by design or reveals how turbulent the current climate of worldly power is—because apparently last year, the Bilderberg group backed Clinton.

Related Rubicon Moment: Trump Wild Card vs Establishment | Bilderberg Group and Top Level Marketer to the Elite, Thinks: It Doesn't Matter about Trump, "Hillary Will Win"

Clinton has already been implicated in several scandals that would have ended her career if not for the cooperation of the media. It seems that they are also doing their best to hide her involvement in the Panama Papers, suggesting that she is the establishment-anointed candidate for 2016. 

The German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, intends on releasing a more robust list of Mossack Fonseca clients at the end of this month that could implicate more Americans for wrongdoing. 

The following three articles complies the data outlined above. 
- Justin

Source - Zero Hedge

The Panama Papers Could Really End Hillary Clinton's Campaign

by Jake Anderson

With Senator Bernie Sanders winning seven of the last eight delegate battles — the most recent was Tuesday night’s Wisconsin victory  there’s a feeling in the air that most progressives haven’t felt since the Iowa caucus. It speaks to a hard truth Hillary Clinton and her choleric campaign staffers will encounter when they wake up in the morning: Bernie really could still beat Clinton and become the Democratic nominee for president.
No way, some of you are saying. The television faces said the delegate math was too hard. The superdelegates make it impossible. Hillary wins the primaries, Bernie only wins caucuses; America won’t elect a socialist; the nation won’t rally behind free healthcare and college tuition.
Despite the supposedly ineluctable logic of Sanders’ unelectability, many pundits now believe there has been a seismic shift in the 2016 presidential race. It is becoming increasingly obvious that Americans are sick to death of the two corporatist political establishments and will do anything to send them a message. The evidence of this is that the two most popular candidates in the 2016 election are a Jewish democratic socialist and a reality TV star who referred to his penis during a nationally televised debate.
Then there’s the matter of the Panama PapersIn case you haven’t heard about them over the roar of mainstream media’s ‘round-the-clock anti-Trump coverage, it’s being referred to as the biggest data leak in history. For the last year, 400 journalists have been secretly decoding 11.5 million documents leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. The 2.6 terabytes of data show billions of dollars worth of transactions dating back 40 years.
Acquired from an anonymous source by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and then shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the documents present a jaw-dropping paper trail of how the upper echelon of the 1 percent has used shell companies and offshore tax havens to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes. In less than a week of exposure, the Panama Papers have already implicated 140 world leaders from 50 different countries. Top executives and celebrities who appear in the leaked emails, PDFs, and other documents may also be indicted in money laundering, tax evasion, and sanctions-busting activities.
Related Law Change Let's Iceland Bankers Out of Jail Early, Just Before Panama Papers Were Released

Though the source of the leak opted not to do a Wikileaks-style data dump and is instead allowing media outlets to curate the information, international tax reform could be imminent.
The revelations are relevant to the 2016 presidential election because they once again illustrate the stark contrast in judgement between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. The transgressions documented in the Panama Papers were directly facilitated by the Panama-United States Trade Promotion Agreement, which Congress ratified in 2012. In 2011, Sanders took to the floor of the senate to strongly denounce the trade deal:
“Panama is a world leader when it comes to allowing wealthy Americans and large corporations to evade US taxes by stashing their cash in offshore tax havens. The Panama free trade agreement will make this bad situation much worse. Each and every year, the wealthiest people in this country and the largest corporations evade about $100 billion in taxes through abusive and illegal offshore tax havens in Panama and in other countries.”
Clinton, on the other hand, completely ignored the tax haven issue, and instead, regurgitated the same job-creation platitude she used to peddle NAFTA, which has decimated American manufacturing jobs and led to an economic refugee crisis in Mexico.
Beyond just exposing her unwillingness to understand how modern free trade agreements benefit the rich and punish impoverished countries, Clinton may have a more nefarious connection to the Panama Papers.
In lobbying for the Panama-United States Trade Promotion Agreement, Clinton paved the way for major banks and corporations, most notably the Deutsche Bank, to skirt national laws and regulations. After she resigned as Secretary of State, the Deutsche Bank paid her $485,000 for a speech. While criminality can’t yet be definitively established, this may change when the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” publishes its comprehensive list at the end of the month. In addition to the aforementioned connection, Clinton’s name has already surfaced in connection to a billionaire and a Russian-controlled bank named in the files.
The fallout from the Panama Papers is being felt around the world. On Tuesday, Iceland’s Prime Minister resigned after it was revealed his family had used a shell company to hold millions of dollars worth of bonds in a collapsed bank. After an interview in which Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson had a meltdown when asked about the company’s assets, over 20,000 citizens of Iceland protested.
How does this lead to Bernie Sanders defeating Hillary Clinton? The Sanders campaign has been run on the premise that Clinton is inextricably linked to political corruption, disastrous military interventions, and collusion with Wall Street. If it can be shown that Clinton was involved in criminal improprieties exposed by the Panama Papers, this will constitute yet another major line of attack for Sanders headed into the April 14th debate in New York. If Sanders wins the New York primary a few days later and scoops up a proportion of its 247 delegates, the narrative of the election will dramatically shift.
When added to the myriad other Clinton scandals and political vulnerabilities, the Democratic party’s gatekeeper superdelegates could decide that Clinton is too big of a liability going into the general election. It all comes down to New York, though  Sanders must win New York. If he does, you will see historic chaos unleashed upon the American electorate. And if the Panama Papers leak sets off an unstoppable domino effect, the DNC may soon find its fractured party looking just as ghoulish as the clown’s autopsy being conducted on the Republican Party.
Related Clinton Is Selling Uranium From Bundy and Hammond Ranches to Russians to Fund Presidential Campaign

Source - Zero Hedge

Here Are Some Of The Americans In The "Panama Papers"

by Tyler Durden

With media attention squarely falling on the foreigners exposed by the Panama Papers offshore tax haven scandal, everyone has been asking for more information on who are the Americans involved in this biggest data leak in history. After all, as we showed, Mossack Fonseca had over 400 American clients. But who are they?
Today, courtesy of McClatchy, we get some answers: while there are no politicians of note are in files but plenty of others. Among them: Retirees, scammers, and tax evaders, all of whom found a use for secrecy of offshore companies.
As the news paper reports, "the passports of at least 200 Americans show up in this week’s massive leak of secret data on secretive offshore shell companies."
And yet, the following release may prompt merely more questions: given the high-profile nature of some of the foreign names in the leaks "many of the Americans may seem like small fish."
Perhaps few Americans used Panama to hide their shady dealings; perhaps that was as intended.
In any event, here are some of the findings courtesy of McClatchy:

Determining a precise number of Americans in the data is difficult. There are at least 200 scanned individual U.S. passports. Some appear to be American retirees purchasing real estate in places like Costa Rica and Panama. Also in the database, about 3,500 shareholders of offshore companies who list U.S. addresses. And almost 3,100 companies are tied to offshore professionals based in Miami, New York, and other parts of the United States.
Further complicating matters, some U.S. citizens enjoy dual citizenship and open accounts under foreign passports. Others appeared to be American retirees purchasing real estate in places like Costa Rica and Panama.
Among the cases McClatchy and its partners found: 
Robert Miracle of Bellevue, Wash., is in the files. He was indicted for a $65-million Seattle-area Ponzi scheme involving investment in Indonesian oilfields, with new investors’ money allegedly used to pay off past investors. Miracle was sentenced on May 13, 2011, to 13 years in prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion.
Miracle’s company was called Mcube Petroleum, and it remained an active shareholder in several offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands up until he pleaded guilty. The offshores were created by Mossack Fonseca.
Benjamin Wey is a U.S. citizen and president of New York Global Group. He was indicted last year, along with his Swiss banker, Seref Dogan Erbek, on securities fraud charges. Wey’s alleged scheme to conceal a true ownership interest in publicly traded companies was at the heart of the charges. Wey is accused of using offshores set up with Mossack Fonseca to disguise complicated transactions between Chinese operating companies and publicly traded U.S. shell companies.
The two “are believed to have profited in the tens of millions, while victim shareholders were left holding the bill,” Diego Rodriguez, an FBI official involved in the case, said in a statement at the time of indictment.
Florida billionaire Igor Olenicoff, a commercial real estate mogul, appears in the data as a shareholder of Olen Oil Management Limited. He raised a national stir in 2007 after being sentenced to just two years of probation for tax evasion. He paid a $52 million fine after not declaring more than $200 million in offshore shell companies. More recently, he was found guilty in 2014 for making replicas of a pricey sculpture and was ordered to make restitution to the sculptors whose work he had copied.

There’s Anthony J. Gumbiner, the Dallas-area chairman of Hallwood Group Inc. He’s a British national with deep Texas ties who settled an insider trading case in 1996 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, paying $1.7 million in penalties at the time.
A jetsetter in the 1980s, Gumbiner was known for his lavish lifestyle in Monte Carlo. More recently, he’s been tied up in litigation over oilfield investments. His Hallwood Energy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2009.
It wasn’t until 2015 that the law firm seemed to catch on to Gumbiner’s legal problems and started to conduct enhanced background checks. By then his offshore companies had been inactive since 2011.
And there’s John Michael “Red” Crim, author of the self-published books “From Here to Malta,” and “I’ve Been Arrested, Now What?”
Federal jurors in Philadelphia in January 2008 convicted Crim and two associates in a plot to have investors use phony trusts to cheat the IRS out of roughly $10 million in tax revenue.
In an interview with McClatchy's project partner Fusion, at a halfway house in Los Angeles last February, Crim described how he brought business to Mossack Fonseca and other registered corporate agents.
"My responsibility is to set-up the documentation, hand it over to the client, and now they're in business," Crim said. "I don't even know sometimes what that business is about, and I didn't want to spend all my time investigating what they're doing. I mean, some of (them) just flat out would tell you it was none of your business."
In a separate case, federal authorities were unaware that a defendant in a fraud case had an offshore account with Mossack Fonseca. Internet phone company executive Jonathan Kaplan pleaded guilty in Bridgeport, Conn., in 2007 to accepting more than $400,000 in a commercial bribery scheme.
Kaplan received probation. A law enforcement source, speaking on condition of anonymity because of pending legal matters, confirmed that prosecutors did not know that Kaplan had established an offshore company in the British Virgin Islands in 2004 called SGA Wireless. It remained active until May 2010.
Reached by phone in New Jersey, Kaplan was asked whether he told authorities about SGA Wireless. He stammered, “I’m going to have to decline. I’ll talk to you.” He then abruptly hung up.
* * *
As we said, the surprising lack of any high profile names could merely stoke speculation of list scrubbing, or alternatively, we hope it will force the broader population to shift its attention to the true real locus of "offshore tax evasion", perhaps the biggest in the world: the United States of America itself.

by Aamer Madhani

The names of hundreds of Americans have surfaced in the Panama Papers, including a handful of U.S. businessmen accused or convicted by U.S. authorities for ties to financial crimes or Ponzi schemes.

The identities of the Americans emerged from the treasure trove of documents obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, the U.S.-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and hundreds of other media organizations.

The consortium has so far identified more than 200 people with U.S. addresses who own companies in the leaked data from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. Some appear to be retirees purchasing real estate in places like Costa Rica and Panama, according to the consortium. But there are at least a few Americans in the leaked files who have faced charges for serious financial crimes in the U.S.

Here are some of the Americans who have been charged or convicted of financial crimes that have surfaced in the massive data leak, according to the media consortium. Their identities were first reported by McClatchy Newspapers.

Benjamin Wey , a Wall Street financier, was charged in September with securities fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering for using family members to help him stealthily amass ownership of larger blocks of stock in companies through so-called “reverse merger” transactions between Chinese companies and U.S. shell companies. In the process, he reaped tens of millions of dollars of illegal profit by manipulating the companies’ stock prices, the indictment charges. Prosecutors say he was aided by his banker in Switzerland, Seref Dogan Erbek, who was also charged in the alleged scheme.

The shell companies were incorporated offshore, according to the indictment. McClatchy reports Mossack Fonseca helped set up the offshore companies used in the stock manipulation. Wey in a message via Twitter said that there is no evidence that he's ever owned a foreign account, controlled a foreign account or been a signatory of any account set up by Panamanian law firm.

“Ben Wey fashioned himself a master of industry, but as alleged, he was merely a master of manipulation," said Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern DistrictAttorney of New York, in announcing Wey's indictment.

Wey, president of the New York Global Group, also made headlines last year when a jury awarded an $18 million verdict to a former intern who had accused Wey of sexual harassment and stalking. (A judge last week said he would give Wey a new damages trial if the plaintiff, Hanna Bouveng, did not agree to reduce damages to $5.65 million, Reuters reported.) The young woman said Wey coerced her into four sexual encounters and then fired her after finding out that she had a boyfriend.

Wey denies that he ever had sex with Bouveng, and says her lawsuit, in which she initially sought $850 million, is an extortion attempt.

Igor Olenicoff, the Russian-born billionaire and commercial real estate mogul, was listed as a shareholder of Olen Oil Management Limited in the leaked data. He was sentenced in 2007 to two years of probation for tax evasion and forced to pay a $52 million fine for failing to declare more than $200 million stashed in offshore shell companies. Olenicoff's California-based firm owns thousands of residential and commercial properties.

In 2014, the real estate tycoon was ordered to pay $450,000 to sculptor Don Wakefield in damages after Olenicoff and his company were found to have cloned several large-scale, abstract sculptures from the artist that were used to decorate various properties.

Robert Miracle, of Bellevue, Wash., was sentenced in 2011 to 13 years in prison and three years of supervised release for mail fraud and tax evasion for his part in a $65 million Ponzi scheme involving an Indonesia oilfield.

Miracle sold shares in Laramie Petroleum, MCube Petroleum, Diski Limited Liability Company, Basilam Limited Liability Company, and Halmahera-Rembang Limited Liability Company. The Washington man and his co-defendents told investors the companies made money from oil field development and services on oil and gas fields in Indonesia. In fact, the proceeds of later investors were being used to pay off the investments of earlier investors, according to the Justice Department.

Between September 2004 and October 2007, Miracle took in more than $65.3 million and paid out $36.7 million in the dividends.

“The bulk of the remaining funds were used to develop oil and gas fields in Indonesia, as well as to pay for a lavish lifestyle for Miracle,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Western District of Washington said in a statement at time of his guilty plea.

John Michael “Red" Crim was convicted in Philadelphia in 2008, along with two associates, for being part of a plot in which he recruited investors to use phony trusts to cheat the IRS out of $10 million in revenue.

Crim, co-founder of the Texas-based Commonwealth Trust Company, “encouraged investors to place income and assets into trusts for the purpose of evading federal income taxes,” according the office of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He was sentenced to eight years in prison.

The consortium also reports Jonathan Kaplan, a former Massachusetts executive implicated in a bribery scheme more than eight years ago, was among those whose names who surfaced in the papers.

Kaplan in 2008 was sentenced to five years of probation for his part in accepting more than $400,000 in kickbacks from a Jordanian national. Kaplan, vice president of iBasis, a Massachusetts company that supplied prepaid calling cards to retail distributors, allegedly gave favorable pricing, credit terms and inside information to Jordanian national Fares Khraisat, the owner and operator of Zam-Zam Telecard, based inBridgeport, Conn.


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