A U.S. accountant who helped American residents evade taxes in a case exposed by the Panama Papers investigation has been sentenced to more than three years in prison. Over a sometimes choppy internet connection on Thursday, federal judge Richard M. Berman in New York sentenced Richard Gaffey, 74, to jail. Gaffey, a Massachusetts-based accountant, previously pleaded guilty to eight crimes, including conspiracy to commit tax evasion and defraud the United States. From 2000 to 2018, prosecutors said, Gaffey worked with others, including lawyers at the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, to evade paying income taxes to the United States.
The unprecedented investigation into the rogue offshore industry was published on April 3, 2016. Here’s what happened next. Within days of publication, protesters hit the streets, politicians resigned, police raided offices and prosecutors launched investigations.
By Juliette Garside for The Guardian - The journalist who led the Panama Papers investigation into corruption in Malta was killed on Monday in a car bomb near her home. Daphne Caruana Galizia died on Monday afternoon when her car, a Peugeot 108, was destroyed by a powerful explosive device which blew the vehicle into several pieces and threw the debris into a nearby field. A blogger whose posts often attracted more readers than the combined circulation of the country’s newspapers, Caruana Galizia was recently described by the Politico website as a “one-woman WikiLeaks”. Her blogs were a thorn in the side of both the establishment and underworld figures that hold sway in Europe’s smallest member state. Her most recent revelations pointed the finger at Malta’s prime minister, Joseph Muscat, and two of his closest aides, connecting offshore companies linked to the three men with the sale of Maltese passports and payments from the government of Azerbaijan. No group or individual has come forward to claim responsibility for the attack. Malta’s president, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, called for calm. “In these moments, when the country is shocked by such a vicious attack, I call on everyone to measure their words, to not pass judgment and to show solidarity,” she said. After a fraught general election this summer, commentators had been fearing a return to the political violence that scarred Malta during the 1980s.
By Brooke Harrington for ROAR Magazine - Years before the Panama Papers broke, many of the world’s richest people felt unappreciated and under attack. In 2014, Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tom Perkins compared the position of the rich to that of the Jews in 1930s Germany, warning of a “progressive Kristallnacht” and “a rising tide of hatred of the successful 1 percent.” Though a few of his fellow billionaires distanced themselves from these remarks, several jumped vigorously to his defense, expressing their agreement that the rich were being “pummeled” and “picked on.”
By Joseph E. Stiglitz and Mark Pieth for Transcend Media Service - 29 Sep 2016 – I’ll confess that my jaw dropped when I looked beyond the headlines about the Panama Papers last spring and began to read the fine print. “Panama Papers” is shorthand for the widely publicized report of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, originally published on April 3, 2016. The story broke simultaneously on the I.C.I.J. Web site and in newspapers around the world and detailed what had been going on behind a cloak of secrecy.
By Robert J. Burrowes for Popular Resistance. Because their emotional responses to events in their life are not heard and addressed, the distractive items become addictive drugs. This is why most violence and 'business' involving illicit financial flows is overtly directed at gaining control of material, rather than emotional, resources. The material resource becomes a dysfunctional and quite inadequate replacement for satisfaction of the emotional need. And, because the material resource cannot 'work' to meet an emotional need, the individual is most likely to keep using direct and/or structural violence to gain control of more material resources in an unconscious and utterly futile attempt to meet unidentified emotional needs. This is the reason why individuals using the services of Mossack Fonseca seek material wealth and are willing to take advantage of tax evasion structures beyond legal scrutiny. They are certainly wealthy in the material sense; unfortunately, they are emotional voids and each of them justly deserves the appellation 'poor little rich boy' (or girl).
By Staff of ICIJ - The anonymous whistleblower behind the Panama Papers has conditionally offered to make the documents available to government authorities. In a statement issued to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the so-called “John Doe” behind the biggest information leak in history cites the need for better whistleblower protection and has hinted at even more revelations to come.
By Frederic Mousseau for Righting Finance - The Panama Papers have helped expose how politicians, criminals and corporations around the world hide their cash and avoid taxes. In Papua New Guinea (PNG), foreign owned logging companies are profiteering, using some of the same tricks. Recent research by the Oakland Institute revealed that most logging companies operating in the country are not paying corporate tax. Despite decades of operations and the country being today the largest exporter of tropical timber in the world, logging companies barely declare any profit.
By George Monbiot. It’s as if the people of the Soviet Union had never heard of communism. The ideology that dominates our lives has, for most of us, no name. Mention it in conversation and you’ll be rewarded with a shrug. Even if your listeners have heard the term before, they will struggle to define it. Neoliberalism: do you know what it is? Its anonymity is both a symptom and cause of its power. It has played a major role in a remarkable variety of crises: the financial meltdown of 2007-8, the offshoring of wealth and power, of which the Panama Papers offer us merely a glimpse, the slow collapse of public health and education, resurgent child poverty, the epidemic of loneliness, the collapse of ecosystems, the rise of Donald Trump. But we respond to these crises as if they emerge in isolation, apparently unaware that they have all been either catalysed or exacerbated by the same coherent philosophy; a philosophy that has – or had – a name.
By Common Dreams Staff. A protest calling on David Cameron to resign has brought more than 150,000 people onto the streets of London on Saturday afternoon. The March for Health, Homes, Jobs and Education was organized by activist group the People's Assembly Against Austerity. The demonstrators called for an end to austerity, and demanded that David Cameron quit over the Panama Papers revelation that he profited from his father's offshore investment fund. People's Assembly National Secretary Sam Fairbairn said: "The Tories are increasingly out of touch with the reality of life for most people. Every time they say 'we all in it together' it's another slap round the face of millions of people. The revelations that have unfolded with the 'Panama Papers' show the super-rich hiding their wealth in tax havens on an industrial scale. This means they avoid taxes that would pay for all the social benefits that are currently under attack and people are understandably angry."
By David Graeber for Le Monde - What we have been seeing in the news, this week, with the juxtaposition of the Panama paper revelations, and the emergence of Nuit Debout in the streets of Paris and other French cities, is the struggle between two different forms of solidarity, two global cultures—the first, all too developed, the second, still in the process of being born. The first is the solidarity of the wealthy and powerful, or, more precisely, those whose wealth is founded on their power; the other, is the emergence of new forms of revolutionary democracy that are taking, increasingly, planetary form.
By Staff of Occupy - This week: Three things you gotta know and consider about the Panama Papers and no, it has nothing to do with Putin. Then, we have a special interview with Joe Corre – anti-fracking activist in the UK that's using his celebrity to stand up to big oil, gas and capitalism. But first, escape. **We have front lines coverage from Democracy Spring
By Ellen Brown for Web of Debt - The bombshell publication of the “Panama Papers,” leaked from a Panama law firm specializing in shell companies, has triggered both outrage and skepticism. In an April 3 article titled “Corporate Media Gatekeepers Protect Western 1% From Panama Leak,” UK blogger Craig Murray writes that the whistleblower no doubt had good intentions; but he made the mistake of leaking his 11.5 million documents to the corporate-controlled Western media, which released only those few documents incriminating opponents of Western financial interests.