A Canadian man-turned-convict was connected to the “Panama Papers” leak in 2015, as well as money laundering and conspiracy against the U.S.
You might have seen the name Mossack Fonseca. Or maybe you saw “The Leak,” a limited series on HBO that follows the fascinating story of how William ‘Black’ Browder, the founder of a major investment firm in the Cayman Islands, became the target of a massive U.S. Department of Justice investigation, including a raid by the FBI.
Browder not only lost money when global equity markets began falling, he lost his freedom, too.
It started with the mysterious death of Money LA, Browder’s London-based subsidiary. Money LA had an equally mysterious history. All the money it held wound up disappearing – to the tune of about $7 billion.
The investigation into Browder went international.
Before he died, Browder’s friend Andrew I. Hall began collecting information that eventually showed that William and his family had connections to money laundering and conspiracy in the wake of the 1997 collapse of a U.S. firm founded by Browder, BellSouth Bank.
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From Florida, Browder took his war against his captors to the international stage, starting with a series of rallies in Washington in 2004. In each case, Browder raised millions of dollars in support of his cause and met with prominent figures at the State Department and on Capitol Hill. In 2008, former President George W. Bush, through then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, went so far as to personally tell Browder’s lawyers, “If you still wish to pursue these claims, we will work to respond,” according to the New York Times.
“I don’t seek revenge, but I seek justice,” Browder said, according to the Times.
But a crusade to stop a pattern of thievery, money laundering and corruption ended in the hands of Nicky Rackover, the Central American-born, British citizen with U.S. citizenship who is currently serving 27 years in an upstate New York federal prison for insider trading.
To Browder, it was clear who was behind the dirty dealings – that’s why he is still fighting – even though he, Browder, was kept out of prison, too.