Judge gavel, scales of justice and law books in court

A former accountant has been sentenced to more than three years in prison after pleading guilty to a variety of charges in connection with the “Panama Papers” scandal.

Richard Gaffey, 76, has been ordered to serve 39 months in prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud, tax fraud, money laundering, aggravated identity theft and other charges stemming from his role in helping clients evade their taxes by illegally hiding money offshore.

Gaffey was charged along with Harald Joachim von der Goltz, Ramses Owens, and Dirk Brauer in connection with the offshore tax evasion scheme perpetrated by Panama-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca & Co.

Earlier this month, von der Goltz was sentenced to 48 months in prison. Owens and Brauer remain at large.

“Richard Gaffey was a tax accountant who specialized in sheltering his clients’ assets and income, aiding and abetting their evasion of their U.S. tax obligations. Now, after nearly two decades of felonious hide-and-seek, Gaffey has been sentenced to prison for his crimes,” said Audrey Strauss, acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, in a release.

Along with the prison term, he was also ordered to forfeit US$5.4 million, to pay US$3.5 million in restitution, and to serve three years of supervised release.