Mossack and Fonseca in the “Panama Papers” case acquitted!

Payvision settlement agreement

Mossack and Fonseca in the “Panama Papers” case acquitted!

In a further setback against money laundering and financial crime, Jürgen Mossack and Fonseca Mora, the beneficial owners and directors of the infamous Mossack Fonseca, were acquitted of all charges by a Panama court (Baloísa Marquínez) on June 29, 2024.

The defendants were accused of money laundering by establishing 215,000 shell companies in tax havens, where politicians, celebrities and athletes are said to have concealed their assets. In the spring of 2016, media outlets from the Investigative Journalists’ Network (ICIJ) revealed the transactions of the shell companies set up in Panama.

The judge ruled that the chain of evidence was not comprehensible when collecting evidence from the servers of the now defunct law firm Mossack Fonseca. Furthermore, the other evidence had not been sufficient and conclusive.

The media were leaked 11.5 million documents. Almost 400 reporters from more than 80 countries took part in the research.

According to the media reports, the “Panama Papers” had shown in detail how criminals, oligarchs and terror financiers had used Mossack Fonseca shell companies “to conduct their criminal business there”,  They had also shown “that this law firm not only knew what it was doing, but that the purpose of this law firm was to hide and conceal illegal funds.

Our take on the acquittal

After witnessing Marina Barak’s acquittal in the summer of 2021 and the lenient sentencing of Rudolf Booker and Cheng Liem Li in the Payvision money laundering case, it is clear that judges and prosecutors (in the Netherlands) still struggle to grasp the disastrous effects of money laundering. Consequently, we view the Panama court’s decision as yet another scandalous ruling and a ‘fatal signal’ for the cybercrime enabler industry.

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