U.S. federal prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation into whether individuals at Mossack Fonseca Co., the law firm at the center of the “Panama Papers” scandal, knowingly helped its clients launder money or evade taxes, according to people familiar with the matter.
Mossack Fonseca has been in the global spotlight since early April, when a consortium of journalists published a trove of leaked documents showing that the Panama-based law firm created hundreds of thousands of shell companies and offshore accounts for rich and powerful people around the world.
U.S. investigators are now probing one of the biggest questions that emerged after the leak: whether employees at Mossack Fonseca did anything illegal.
A spokeswoman for Mossack Fonseca directed all inquiries to the firm’s website, which says the firm “has never been accused or charged in connection with criminal wrongdoing.”
The investigation, led by the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office and the Justice Department’s main office