The Latest: Former Ferrari CEO Says Number off-Shore Accounts

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 4:00 PM

m. Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, one of Italy'south most visible corporate managers, says he's number off-shore account in Panama. Montezemolo said at a UniCredit bank board meeting on Thursday that a check of his records indicated that references to him in a database of leaked off-shore accounts were related to "proposals by my financial consultants about investments that were never made." He added: "I can therefore confirm that I don't own any off-shore company, or any foreign account, and over all, I've done nothing wrong." Montezemolo'south title turned up in a media investigation of accounts set up by a Panama-based law firm.

The Latest on the publication by a coalition of media outlets of an investigation into offshore financial dealings by the wealthy and well-known (all times local):

2:50 p. m.

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, one of Italy'south most visible corporate managers, says he's number off-shore account in Panama.

Montezemolo said at a UniCredit bank board meeting on Thursday that a check of his records indicated that references to him in a database of leaked off-shore accounts were related to "proposals by my financial consultants about investments that were never made."

He added: "I can therefore confirm that I don't own any off-shore company, or any foreign account, and over all, I've done nothing wrong."

Montezemolo'south title turned up in a media investigation of accounts set up by a Panama-based law firm. The documents indicate a series contracts that listed Montezemolo, who's currently Alitalia chairman and on the UniCredit board, as head of a Panama-based company called Lenville set up in two thousand-seventh. He was chairman of Fiat, CEO of Ferrari and head of Italy'south Confindustria industrial lobby at the time.

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2:25 p. m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied having any links to offshore accounts and is describing the Panama Papers document leaks scandal as portion of Western efforts to weaken Russia.

Putin, speaking Thursday at a media forum in St. Petersburg, says even though his title didn't figure in any of the documents leaked from a Panamanian law firm, Western media pushed the claims of his involvement in offshore businesses.

Putin described the allegations as portion of the U. S.-led disinformation campaign waged against Russia in order to weaken its government.

Putin said his longtime friend, cellist Sergei Roldugin, who figured in the Panama Papers as the owner of $2 billion in offshore assets, has done nothing wrong. He said he was pleased of Roldugin, adding that the musician spent his personal money to advance cultural projects in Russia.

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2:05 p. m.

The European Union'south top taxation commissioner is calling on Panama to be engaged in in talks on improving transparency so that it might eventually be taken off a list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions.

Pierre Moscovici said Panama was listed by the EU as a whole — and separately by eight of the bloc's twenty-eight nations — as a non-compliant state on tax affairs.

He said that the media revelations linking the central American nation to massive tax fraud were "frankly shocking."

Moscovici said Thursday: "Let'south call a spade a spade: non-cooperative jurisdictions are tax havens."

He added that "we've to list them through a common EU blacklist and to be prepared to hit them with appropriate sanctions if they refuse to change."

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1:55 p. m.

A member of Dutch bank ABN Amro'south supervisory board says he's stepping down with immediate effect after his title appeared in the enormous leak of information on offshore companies known as the Panama Papers.

ABN Amro announced the departure of Bert Meerstadt in a brief statement Thursday that made number mention of his reported links to an offshore Corp established in the British Virgin Islands by Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which helps create shell companies for the world'south wealthy and famous.

The Dutch bank then issued a personal statement from Meerstadt in which he says he already was in the process of leaving ABN Amro, but was presently stepping down immediately, "to prevent any harmful effects to the bank" after two Dutch newspapers linked him to the company on the British Virgin Islands.

In the statement, Meerstadt says he'll not comment on the report in the Financieel Dagblad newspaper, which said that he was listed in March two thousand one as a shareholder in a company called Morclan Corporation. Two weeks later, the shares in his title were transferred to a believe office on Guernsey.

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1:05 p. m.

The chief executive of Austrian lender Hypo Landesbank Vorarlberg has resigned after the bank was mentioned in reports about offshore companies.

The bank said Thursday that Michael Grahammer "surprisingly declared his resignation last night."

Austrian public broadcaster ORF reported this week that at least twenty offshore companies had accounts with Hypo Vorarlberg, including one attributed to Gennady Timchenko, a Russian billionaire with longtime personal ties to President Vladimir Putin.

ORF is one of dozens of media outlets worldwide that'd access to the so-called Panama Papers, a trove of documents detailing offshore companies of the wealthy and famous.

Grahammer said in a statement that "media prejudgment" prompted him to resign, but that both he and the bank had acted according within the law.

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12:10 p. m.

Anti-fraud activists are blocking entrances at the Paris headquarters of French bank Societe Generale to protest its alleged involvement in creating offshore accounts, as detailed in the so-called "Panama Papers" reports.

Around forty protesters physically blocked the main and side entrances of the building in central Paris on Thursday, waving banners that read "Monetary Fraud, Social Crime."

Dominique Plihot, spokesman for the ATTAC activist group, said he was there "to create public awareness that Societe Generale was among the huge banks cited in the documents" released by an international probe of offshore accounts.

French newspaper Le Monde has said the bank created hundreds of offshore companies via Panamian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

Societe Generale denies any accusations of fraud and tax evasion and repeated in a statement its commitment to the fight against such activities.

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