The United States has long condemned secret offshore tax havens where the rich and powerful hide their money. But a burgeoning American fiduciary industry now houses the assets of wealthy foreigners by promising even more secrecy and protection. That same secrecy has insulated the industry from meaningful surveillance and allowed it to gain a foothold in states like South Dakota and Alaska.
The Washington Post and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) have gained unprecedented insight into the money flowing into American trusts through a trove of more than 11.9 million documents, among the most important in the world. gender, maintained by financial service providers around the world.
Their findings are revealed in a new investigation, the Pandora Papers, which reveals how foreign political and corporate leaders or their relatives moved money and other assets from long-established tax havens to shadowy trust companies. in the USA. In many cases, the assets were linked to individuals or companies accused of fraud, corruption and human rights abuses in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.
In this audio report, Post reporter Debbie Cenziper, producer Ted Muldoon and ICIJ reporter Will Fitzgibbon travel from the sugar cane fields of the Dominican Republic to the beaches of California to the back rooms of Sioux Falls to examine how this industry was born, who benefits from it and who it harms.