Leak Reveals Offshore Secrets of Queen, Celebrities

Trump officials also named in 'Paradise Papers'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2017 4:07 AM CST
Updated Nov 6, 2017 6:09 AM CST
Leak Reveals Offshore Secrets of Queen, Celebrities
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross appears before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform last month.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

A massive leak of internal documents from Bermuda-based law firm Appleby has exposed the financial secrets of many of the world's elites—but while it may cause many tough questions to be asked, no evidence of law-breaking has surfaced. The "Paradise Papers" leak of 13.4 million records to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which shared it with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, is second only in size to the similar Panama Papers leak in 2016. It exposes the offshore interests of thousands of people, including celebrities, more than 100 politicians, and Queen Elizabeth II, whose private estate reduced the tax payable to Her Majesty's Government by investing millions of pounds in at least one offshore fund.

Other famous names on the list include Keira Knightley, Madonna, and Bono, who became part owner of a shopping mall in Lithuania through a low-tax investment in Malta, the New York Daily News reports. The Guardian reports that in a major embarrassment to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has promised to target tax avoidance, the papers reveal that his chief fundraiser and financial adviser, Stephen Bronfman, shifted millions of dollars from Canada to tax havens such as the Cayman Islands. The papers also name Trump administration officials, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, reports the New York Times. The documents reveal links to Vladimir Putin's son-in-law that Ross didn't disclose during his confirmation process. (More Paradise Papers stories.)

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