December 13, 2018

Partner Joe Rillotta Speaks to Tax Notes about Panama Papers Case

Washington, D.C., partner Joe Rillotta is quoted in a Tax Notes article titled “Panama Papers Wire Fraud Charges Seen as Aggressive.”

The article examines the approach taken by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York in prosecuting charges resulting from the leak of the Panama Papers. Notably, the Office seems to have invoked a little-used directive of the Department of Justice’s Tax Division, Directive 128, under which the Tax Division may approve mail and wire fraud charges in certain tax cases.

Joe noted that prosecutors may be bringing these charges in order to pursue remedies otherwise not available in tax cases, such as asset forfeiture, adding, “Frankly, I think that is what you see in this case.” He observed that the Southern District has used the directive before, and that the Tax Division “has approved mail and wire fraud counts in these larger, promoter-focused cases.” Joe also discussed the challenges for the government in employing this strategy.

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