By NAN ET Editor
News Americas, LOS ANGELES, CA, Thurs. April 7, 2016: The leaked Panama Papers has put the spotlight on a number of global celebrities who are among the owners or shareholders of more than 113,000 off shore companies unveiled in the leaked Mossack Fonseca files that were incorporated in the Caribbean tax haven of The British Virgin Islands. Mossack Fonseca is a leading global player in the incorporation of offshore companies across the globe.
1: Simon Cowell
The British-born, U.S-based music tycoon is the sole shareholder of two British Virgin Islands (BVI) companies. One called Southstreet Limited, was set up in February 2007 while Eaststreet Limited was set up in October 2007 by Mossack Fonseca.
2: Jackie Chan
Hong Kong martial artist, actor, film director, producer, stuntman, and singer Jackie Chan owned at least six offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands. The holdings included companies called Jumbo Jaz Investment, Jackie Chan Ltd and Dragon Stream Ltd.
3: Amitabh Bachan
Amitabh Bachan, one of India’s biggest movie stars, was appointed director of at least four offshore shipping companies in the British Virgin Islands as well. The companies, which were set up more than 20 years ago, were small, but they traded in ships worth millions of dollars.
4: Duchess Of York Sarah Ferguson
Duchess Of York Sarah Ferguson was linked to a company in the British Virgin Islands. Essar Company Inc, was set up in the British Virgin Islands in May 2000.
5: Heather Mills
Heather Mills, ex-wife of Sir Paul McCartney, reportedly owned 100 shares in a British Virgin Islands company – Water 4 Investment Ltd – which was set up to create health foods.
6: Brazilian footballer Willian Borges da Silva
Willian Borges da Silva, the Chelsea Brazilian-born footballer was listed as the sole shareholder in a BVI company called Saxon Sponsoring Limited, which was set up in September 2013.
7: Former Chilean soccer Player Ivan Zamorano
Ivan Zamorano, the retired Chilean and Real Madrid soccer player allegedly owns Fut Bam International Ltd., a company based in the British Virgin Islands that has the player’s image rights and has a tax rate of zero.
8: Roksanda Ilincic
Roksanda Ilincic, a London-based, Serbian-born fashion designer who counts Kate Middleton, Anne Hathaway, and Emma Stone as clients, and her husband Philip Dermot Bueno De Mesquita, are listed as the owners of Greenland Property Limited, based in the British Virgin Islands.
9: Argentine former soccer player Gabriel Iván Heinze
Gabriel Iván Heinze, the former Argentine former soccer player with Manchester United, created the Galena Mills Corp., in the British Virgin Islands, in 2005. That year he signed a contract with Puma AG that guaranteed him payments of at least $1 million over five years. All payments were channeled through the offshore company.
10: Pedro Almodovar, Oscar-winning film director and screenwriter
Pedro Almodovar and his brother allegedly founded an offshore BVI company and operated it between 1991 and 1994 – a few years before winning his first Academy Award for 1998’s best foreign language film “All About My Mother.”
While it’s not necessarily illegal to distribute wealth across these secret companies, which can be used by the super wealthy as legitimate forms of holding their wealth, shell companies can be used to evade taxes and disguise illegal behavior. The US Justice Department said Monday that it is reviewing the documents to see if they constitute evidence of corruption that could be prosecuted in the US, the Wall Street Journal reported.