February 28, 2020

Second guilty plea in Panama Papers investigation

On February 28, 2020, Richard Gaffey, a Massachusetts accountant, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering, willful failure to file Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit tax evasion, and identity theft, for his decades-long involvement working with Mossack Fonseca & Co., a Panamanian law firm.  Gaffey is alleged to have assisted US taxpayers to evade tax reporting obligations by hiding the beneficial ownership of offshore shell companies, and by establishing bank accounts for the shell companies that held tens of millions of dollars. 

In conjunction with his guilty plea, Gaffey agreed to a preliminary order of forfeiture requiring the payment of $5,373,609, representing proceeds traceable to the commission of the wire fraud and money laundering offenses.

Gaffey is scheduled to be sentenced in June 2020.  One of his former clients, Harald Joachim von der Goltz, who pleaded guilty on February 18, 2020, is also scheduled to be sentenced in June 2020.  Two other individuals were indicted with Gaffey and von der Goltz for their alleged roles in the tax evasion and money laundering scheme.