The first criminal charges relating to ICIJ’s 2016 investigation, the Panama Papers, have been filed in the United States. Four men were charged with money laundering and fraud.
“These defendants went to extraordinary lengths to circumvent U.S. tax laws in order to maintain their wealth and the wealth of their clients,” said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman. There is plenty of detail for those who want it in the department’s indictment.
The Panama Papers investigation was based on a trove of 11.5 million files from inside Mossack Fonseca that were leaked to reporters Bastian Obermayer and Frederik Obermaier at German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, and shared with ICIJ. The investigation, done in collaboration with more than 370 reporters working for 100 media outlets, exposed the offshore holdings of world political leaders, links to global scandals, and details of the hidden financial dealings of fraudsters, drug traffickers, billionaires, celebrities, sports stars and more.
Meryl Streep will take the lead in The Laundromat, a Steven Soderbergh-directed thriller about the Panama Papers.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Oscar winner will potentially star alongside Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas, who are both in early talks to join, in the fact-based tale. The Panama Papers was a set of leaked documents that shared financial information of offshore entities, revealing fraud, tax evasion and attempts to avoid international sanctions.
The film will be based on Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite, a book by journalist Jake Bernstein. It will be adapted by Scott Z Burns, a frequent Soderbergh collaborator whose credits include Contagion and Side Effects.