Legal Implications of the Panama Papers

(143 Ratings)

Produced on: September 23, 2016

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 66 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

The “Panama Papers” leak continues to shine light on the hidden world of money laundering, tax evasion, kleptocracy, evasion of international sanctions, and a host of other potentially fraudulent activities. This leak of more than 11.5 million documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca disclosed the identity of the “true” owners of approximately 214,000 shell companies and billions of dollars of assets.

By identifying the real owners of these entities—ranging from close associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin to members of China’s elite to British Prime Minister David Cameron to Argentine President Mauricio Macri—the  disclosures are expected to help authorities catch terrorists, tax cheats, corrupt politicians and drug lords.

The information from Mossack Fonseca’s leaked files also reveals the intricacy of the schemes employed to conduct business around the world as well as to hide assets.

As the Panama Papers’ revelations work their way through the system, U.S. legislators will most certainly be looking for ways to make it tougher to hide assets offshore and impose new disclosure requirements for those who want to conduct business legitimately outside the United States.

Join Jon Barooshian and Matthew Morris for a discussion of these issues. Jon Barooshian is a white collar defense attorney who specializes in tax controversies and government and internal investigations and is a partner in Massachusetts based law firm Bowditch & Dewey, LLP.  Matthew Morris is also a partner at Bowditch & Dewey, LLP and focuses his practice on corporate and individual income tax controversies; probate administration; and tax consequences for trusts, estates and beneficiaries. 

Learning Objectives: 
  1. An overview of tax evasion and money laundering schemes and potential criminal and civil sanctions for those who run afoul of the laws currently in place
  2. Business owners and individuals will gain an understanding of their reporting obligations when conducting business with offshore companies
  3. Discuss pending legislation resulting from the Panama Papers revelation and the potential legal consequences for those who may otherwise believe they are compliant


Jonathan Barooshian

Bowditch & Dewey

Jon Barooshian is a white collar defense attorney with a focus on tax evasion, tax controversy, securities fraud, internal and governmental investigations and related criminal and civil litigation. Jon has over 20 years of experience representing individuals, nonprofit organizations and businesses of all sizes during investigations by federal and state agencies. When necessary, Jon defends these clients in administrative proceedings and at trial in state and federal courts.

He routinely represents clients in civil and criminal tax fraud investigations, FBAR and offshore bank account proceedings, voluntary disclosure proceedings, and state and federal tax collection proceedings. In addition, Jon assists clients with responses to inquiries from government agencies and investigates possible unintended violations on behalf of clients who are concerned about their compliance.

During trials and investigations, Jon leverages his previous prosecutorial experience as a Massachusetts Assistant District Attorney. His unique understanding of strategies used by prosecutors and investigators allows him to adopt a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to each client’s defense.

Corporate Counsel recently published “What the Panama Papers Should Teach Companies about Money Laundering,” written by Jon, which covers a variety of implications that the Panama Papers carry for businesses in all industries. Without sufficient protocols and safeguards in place, a company may voluntarily or unwittingly become the subject of a money laundering scheme.

Matthew Morris

Bowditch & Dewey

Matthew Morris focuses his practice on corporate and individual tax controversies, federal, state and international tax planning, estate planning, and probate administration. He represents individuals, fiduciaries, corporations, and other business entities before the IRS and the Massachusetts DOR in a broad range of tax matters. When necessary, Matthew litigates controversies before federal and Massachusetts courts, including the Supreme Judicial Court.

Matthew routinely assists business and individual “non-filers” and “under-reporters” to comply with their federal and state tax responsibilities. He represents businesses and individuals in federal and state tax audits and Massachusetts wage and hour investigations, prepares requests for IRS Private Letter Rulings, and petitions the IRS for innocent spouse relief on behalf of aggrieved taxpayers. Matthew is frequently retained by foreign nationals, dual nationals, and expatriate U.S. citizens because of his expertise with the IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program and Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures.

Matthew has been published in Tax Notes, State Tax Notes, and International Tax Journal and currently serves as an instructor in State and Local Taxation for the Master of Science in Taxation program at Northeastern University.


Mary B.

Very enjoyable and well presented.

Andrea R.


Mark T.


Jayne W.

good information with relevant updates.

Carlyn C.

thank you

George M.

Good course. Very knowledgeable clear speakers.

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