U.S. names starting to surface in Panama Papers leak

Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the center of the Panama Papers
(Image credit: Rodrigo Arangua/AFP/Getty Images)

Most of the wealthy people implicated so far in the leak of offshore tax documents from Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca have been Russian, Chinese, and other nationalities, but there are also some American names in the 11.5 million documents collectively called the Panama Papers. McClatchy Newspapers, which published a number of prominent U.S. names on Wednesday night, notes that many among "the mega-rich... rely on such companies for all sorts of legal purposes," while others probably have not.

Among the Americans whose names appear in the documents, McClatchy says, are former Citigroup chief Sanford Weill; Hyatt heiress Liesel Pritzker Simmons and her husband, fellow heir Ian Simmons; music and film mogul David Geffen; Jerry W. Slusser, an investment banker and Republican fundraiser; and John Thompson Dorrance IV, whose family created Campbell Soup. Most of those people denied any wrongdoing. USA Today also notes several Americans in the leaked documents who were already convicted or under investigation for tax fraud, including Wall Street financier Benjamin Wey, Russian-born commercial real estate tycoon Igor Olenicoff, convicted Ponzi schemer Robert Miracle, and convicted tax-dodge schemer John Michael "Red" Crim.

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.