First jail sentence in the United States related to the Panama Papers
A federal court in the United States sentenced a man on Monday to four years in prison related to the scandal of companies in tax havens, better known as the 'Panama Papers'. This marks the first sentence issued in US related to the case.
The suspect, identified as Harald Joachim Von der Goltz, 83, had previously admitted to having participated in a conspiracy to evade millions of dollars in taxes in the United States.
The Prosecutor's Office assures that Von der Goltz was instigated by the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca to hide income and assets in shell companies and offshore bank accounts.
Between 2000 and 2017, Von der Goltz conspired with others to hide his assets and investments, as well as the income generated by said assets and investments, says a statement from the Prosecutor's Office.
Lawyers for the US Government maintain that the defendant required the services of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca to create a bogus foundation and shell companies under Panamanian and British Virgin Islands law.
Also involved in this evasive web was a former Panamanian law firm gown, identified as Richard Gaffey, and a partner of said firm in the US, Ramses Owens, both prosecuted in the same case.
In addition, Von der Goltz's mother was listed as the owner of both the shell companies and the bank accounts to try to avoid paying taxes in the United States, since unlike her son, the mother was not a resident of the country, but in Guatemala.
Von der Goltz had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit tax evasion, wire fraud and conspiracy to launder money, among other tax crimes.
In addition to the time he will have to spend in prison, he has been sentenced to three years of supervised release and to the payment of $ 8,800,000 for confiscation, payment of compensation and a fine.
Along with Von der Goltz, the authorities also charged three other individuals: Richard Gaffey, who admitted his guilt and is awaiting sentencing next Thursday, and Ramses Owens and Dirk Brauer, who are not in the custody of the US authorities.
The US Department of Justice announced on December 4, 2018 charges against these four individuals related to the investigation of the Panama Papers, in the first prosecution of people involved in this investigation linked to international money laundering.