Washington DC – An investigation into more than 11 million private financial documents show hundreds of public officials in 90 nations using schemes to hide wealth offshore and avoid taxes. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists released the Pandora Papers in partnership with the Washington Post and 600 journalists in 116 countries.
"The Pandora Papers provide a window into a secret world where the rich and famous can avoid paying taxes," noted Eric LeCompte, a United Nations finance expert and Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA. "Tax avoidance is part of the reason that too many countries lack the resources to fight the pandemic."
A trillion dollars leaves the developing world annually through crime, tax evasion and corruption. The leak shows how these monies increasingly land in accounts in the United States.
"Shell companies and tax havens enable corrupt politicians to steal resources from developing countries," stated LeCompte.
In January, Jubilee USA capped a decade of advocacy with the passage of the Corporate Transparency Act. The law requires the owners of US companies to disclose their true identities to the Treasury. In June, President Biden elevated the fight against corruption to a national security priority and mandated an inter-agency review to make recommendations.
“President Biden is on the right track as he pushes greater transparency in the global financial system,” shared LeCompte.