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Journalism Group Releases Full List Of People, Companies Named In 'Panama Papers'

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists just released a searchable database with the names of more than 300,000 people and companies included in the so-called "Panama Papers."

The database is barebones, containing the name of the entity and how its connected to an offshore account.

As we reported, hundreds of international journalists teamed up to pore over the data and they found information that tied 140 politicians from more than 50 countries to offshore companies. The documents — and the connections made with them — don't necessarily detail anything illegal, but they do shine a light on the shadowy world of offshore finances.

The database released today includes the names of more than 7,000 entities from the United States.

The name of the de-facto Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump appears numerous times, but as McClatchy reported, it doesn't mean much, because Trump sells his name to many investors with capital.

The newspaper chain reports:

"That's the case with the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower in Panama. In the law firm's files, it is the most frequent association with Trump's name, since his business partners in the project appear as buyers of condo units, some of whom create offshore shell companies with Mossack Fonseca for the purchase."

The Washington Post ran a story today that finds that at least 36 Americans listed in the database have been "accused of fraud or other serious financial misconduct."

The paper adds:

"Some of the Americans have been convicted of fraud or other crimes. They include Martin Frankel, a Connecticut financier who pleaded guilty in 2002 to 20 counts of wire fraud as well as counts of securities fraud and racketeering conspiracy, and Andrew Wiederhorn, an Oregon corporate executive who pleaded guilty to two felonies in a case tied to one of the largest corporate scandals in Oregon history. Frankel could not be reached for comment. Wiederhorn said the offshore company linked to him in the Mossack Fonseca files was used for legitimate overseas real estate investments.

"Others have been sued in civil cases launched by securities regulators or private plaintiffs. Among them are six Americans who were accused in a lawsuit in federal court in Washington state of using an offshore company set up through Mossack Fonseca, Dressel Investment Ltd., to run a Ponzi scheme that cost thousands of middle-class Indonesians nearly $100 million."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.

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