Signatures for sale

In the Panama Papers, a massive database of 11.5 million internal documents from leading offshore incorporator Mossack Fonseca leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, nominees are everywhere.

There are nominee directors to sign corporate documents, nominee shareholders to appoint directors and even nominee beneficial owners, used to mask the real owners of a company should Mossack Fonseca ever be compelled to divulge that information.

“The use of nominee directors is a key channel of tax evasion,” said Gabriel Zucman, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley and expert on offshore tax evasion. “It makes shell companies effectively anonymous, which in turn enables tax evaders to disconnect themselves from their assets and makes it easier for them to dodge taxes and regulations.”

Leticia Montoya — a low-level administrator at Mossack Fonseca — is one of the world’s most prolific nominee directors, serving on

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