MortgageReal Estate

#PanamaPapers impact on housing and why you should care

Miami's shadowly, luxury real estate market revealed

The list of famous and controversial names revealed in the Panama Papers runs deep, including into housing, finally exposing how the rich and the powerful corruptly use offshore tax havens.

For background, here’s how Christopher Miller with Mashable explains the investigation.

Dubbed the Panama Papers, a cache of 11 million internal documents — 2.6 terabytes worth — from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca shine a light on secret offshore holdings from 128 politicians and public officials across the globe, including 12 current and former world leaders.

The Mossack Fonseca documents were first leaked to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung more than a year ago. Investigative journalists in countries around the word have been sifting through them ever since.

(See the video at the end for an explanation on how shell companies operate)

One of these investigations by the Miami Herald uncovered how secret offshore money has helped fuel Miami’s luxury real-estate boom.  

The article by Nicholas Nehamas stated that at the end of 2011, a company called Isaias 21 Property paid nearly $3 million — in cash — for an oceanfront Bal Harbour condo.

But it wasn’t clear who really owned the property until now thanks to the Panama Papers.

From the piece:

Buried in the 11.5 million documents? A registry revealing Mateus 5’s true owner: Paulo Octávio Alves Pereira, a Brazilian developer and politician now under indictment for corruption in his home country.

A Miami Herald analysis of the never-before-seen records found 19 foreign nationals creating offshore companies and buying Miami real estate. Of them, eight have been linked to bribery, corruption, embezzlement, tax evasion or other misdeeds in their home countries.

Miami is ranked as the number one area in the country for its share of cash sales, and it’s the seventh fastest-growing city in the nation.

And the papers discovered so much more scandal, with names one of the biggest names on the list being Vladimir Putin.

Here’s another break down from VICE on why you need to care about this giant leak, which was dubbed by Edward Snowden as “the biggest leak in the history of data journalism.”

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3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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