A new report has revealed the first mention of Donald Trump’s name within the Panama Papers. The files, composed of over 11 million documents and leaked in 2015, give insight as to how powerful world leaders, including 143 politicians, use illegal tactics for the purposes of committing fraud and evading taxes and international sanctions.
On Thursday, two-time Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Jake Bernstein published a report on his website covering the presence of Trump’s name in the documents.
Trump’s involvement includes the selling of a condo to a shell company called Process Consultans — the official name is misspelled. Process Consultans was established through the services of the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, the firm all the Panama Papers were leaked from.
The owner of Process Consultans bought a condo in the 54-story Trump Palace in Manhattan in 1991. In 1994, the Trump Corporation exclusively brokered the sale of this same condo. The place was sold for $355,000.
The identity of Process Consultans’ owner is still unknown due to Mossack Fonseca’s lack of interest and diligence in tracking who created shell companies through their services. As Bernstein wrote in his report:
By 2008, Mossack Fonseca had created more than 160,000 offshore entities. This torrent of secret companies, particularly the older ones, had become difficult to manage. Still, as long as everyone got paid – including Donald Trump – nobody asked too many questions. Now, Mossack Fonseca wasn’t sure who to bill. It contacted the industrialist inquiring what was going on.
With so many pieces of information missing from the Panama Papers, putting a complete picture together of Trump’s dealings will likely take a long time. So far, though, it looks like the documents contain data that might make the president’s Russia situation more difficult. Earlier this month the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published a report finding financial links between numerous people in Trump’s camp and Russia:
One offshore web leads to Trump’s commerce secretary, private equity tycoon Wilbur Ross, who has a stake in a shipping company that has received more than $68 million in revenue since 2014 from a Russian energy company co-owned by the son-in-law of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In all, the offshore ties of more than a dozen Trump advisers, Cabinet members and major donors appear in the leaked data.
There is almost certainly more information inconvenient for Trump in those millions of files.