The first people to plead guilty following the United States government’s response to the Panama Papers investigation should spend “significant” time in jail, prosecutors say.
U.S. officials last week recommended prison for Harald von der Goltz and his accountant Richard Gaffey. Both men pleaded guilty to financial crimes earlier this year and are at home on bail.
“For decades, von der Goltz orchestrated a complex fraudulent scheme for the purpose of evading tax payments that he owed to the United States,” prosecutors wrote about the 83-year-old. Prosecutors estimated that von der Goltz evaded paying more than $3.4 million in taxes.
Von der Goltz, helped by Gaffey and Ramses Owens, a Panamanian lawyer with the firm Mossack Fonseca, created fake documents and pretended that his elderly, blind mother in Guatemala owned offshore companies worth tens of millions of dollars. Von der Goltz also helped others, including his sons, evade U.S. taxes. Owens is still wanted by the U.S. and remains in Panama.