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HomeWorld NewsRamón Fonseca, partner in firm at center of "Panama Papers" scandal, dies

Ramón Fonseca, partner in firm at center of “Panama Papers” scandal, dies

Ramón Fonseca, a partner in the Mossack Fonseca law firm at the center of the “Panama Papers” scandal, has died

Ramón Fonseca, a partner in the Mossack Fonseca law firm at the center of the “Panama Papers” scandal over the hiding of wealth in offshore entities, has died, a lawyer from his firm confirmed Thursday. He was 71.

Lawyer Guillermina McDonald told The Associated Press in a phone message that Fonseca died late Wednesday. She said he had been hospitalized since two days before last month’s start of a trial centered on his firm. A cause of death was not provided.

Fonseca was not present at the trial, but his partner Jürgen Mossack did attend. Fonseca was among more than two-dozen associates accused of helping some of the world’s richest people hide their wealth. A verdict is still awaited.

The trial came eight years after the leak of 11 million financial documents that became known as the “Panama Papers.” The leak prompted the resignation of the prime minister of Iceland and brought scrutiny to the then-leaders of Argentina and Ukraine, Chinese politicians, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, among others.

Panamanian prosecutors allege that Mossack, Fonseca and their associates created a web of shell companies that used complex transactions to hide money linked to illicit activities in the “car wash” corruption scandal of Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

Fonseca and others were charged with money laundering, which they denied.

Fonseca had said the firm, which closed in 2018, had no control over how its clients might use offshore vehicles created for them.

Mossack Fonseca helped create and sell around 240,000 shell companies across four decades in business. It announced its closure in March 2018, two years after the scandal erupted.

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