Mossack Fonseca Tells Paul Singer It All Depends On What The Meaning Of The Word ‘Is’ Is

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By Valenciano (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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And “independence.” And “subsidiary.” To be sure, these words have a plain meaning. But, in determining whether someone perjured themselves when she said Mossack Fonseca’s Nevada office—which may or may not have been helping a buddy of the former Argentine president hide some embezzled Argentine assets—was just an independent service provider that happened to do some (all of their) work for the law firm, they also have a legal meaning. Paul Singer may not understand this, because he is not a lawyer. But Mossack Fonseca? They are lawyers. Lawyers who have spent a lot of time parsing the meaning of various global tax codes, for instance, if somewhat less time with Firewalls for Dummies. So, sure, they understand to the lay person that something called M.F. Corporate Services Nevada led by a woman who was taking orders from Mossack Fonseca’s head office—such as the order to shred everything—looks an awful lot like a “subsidiary.” But to a lawyer, you see, it’s just not that simple.

In court documents, MF Nevada denies acting in bad faith, and claims Amunategui’s denial of a parent-subsidiary relationship between the two companies did not amount to perjury since “the question of independence is a mixed question of law and fact.”

Hedge fund sues Mossack Fonseca for alleged obstruction of justice in Nevada [Center for Public Integrity]

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