by Pam Martens and Russ Martens, Wall Street On Parade:
The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.C. and its U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan “have launched a criminal investigation into whether individuals at Mossack Fonseca & Co., the law firm at the center of the ‘Panama Papers’ scandal, knowingly helped its clients launder money or evade taxes…”
That investigation, if conducted thoroughly and without improper interference, could turn up the heat on some powerful Wall Street players.
On May 16 Wall Street On Parade broke the story that the Miami office of Citigroup’s Private Bank at 201 South Biscayne Blvd. was the listed address for dozens of offshore companies whose agent is Mossack Fonseca. (See graph below.) Our information was obtained from a search of the public database made available by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which received more than 11.5 million leaked files from the Panama-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca. ICIJ calls Mossack Fonseca “one of the world’s top creators of hard-to-trace companies, trusts and foundations.”
Prior to Citigroup’s implosion and bailout in 2008, it reported its major subsidiaries to the Securities and Exchange Commission. In this report from 2006, Citigroup showed more than 1600 major subsidiaries with more than five dozen in secrecy jurisdictions. As Citigroup came under serial investigations by the Justice Department and other Federal regulators, its list of subsidiaries shrank dramatically. But as we reported in 2014, that doesn’t mean the subsidiaries are actually gone – many are simply just not listed any longer in an out-of-sight-out-of-mind kind of operation.
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