‘Panama Papers’ law firm ‘prefers not to have American clients’

‘Panama Papers’ law firm ‘prefers not to have American clients’
(Image: Screen grab of BBC video, YouTube)

[Ed. – Mr. Fonseca says this isn’t because of fear of the IRS, but I assume it has to do with FATCA, which is making it so hard for Americans to bank overseas — banks won’t accept them as customers — that they’re giving up their U.S. citizenship.]

Rich and influential people around the globe have found themselves under siege since a major data leak revealed their ties to secretive financial accounts and shell companies in low-tax havens used to hide wealth. …

Yet few American names have cropped up in the “Panama Papers,” a trove of 11.5 million confidential records detailing such accounts. That’s because the Panama-based Mossack Fonseca law firm at the center of the scandal doesn’t like taking on American clients, one of its founders says.

Ramon Fonseca, who started the firm with Jurgen Mossack, told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday that their law firm has only a handful of American clients, most of them members of Panama’s burgeoning expat retirement community. It’s not out of any anti-Americanism or fear of the Internal Revenue Service.

“My partner is German, and I lived in Europe, and our focus has always been the European and Latin American market,” Fonseca said at his law office.

“He loves the U.S. a lot, and I do, too. My kids were educated there,” Fonseca added. But “as a policy we prefer not to have American clients.”

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