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Friday, December 15, 2017

Hastily rejected first draft of a new TV commercial for the Mossack Fonseca law firm, exposed in the ongoing “Panama Papers” scandal:

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Are you worried about being indicted? Or having your bank accounts seized?

Are your friends and associates blabbing to prosecutors?

Or maybe you’re just an ordinary deadbeat nephew of an iron-fisted dictator, looking for a safe real-estate investment in the United States?

Come see us at Mossack Fonseca.

We help wealthy weasels hide their money. It’s what we do!

Ask around. We’re Panama’s premier law firm for privacy-seeking movers of cash — and don’t worry, we promise not to ask where you got it.

Because we don’t want to know. Seriously. Do not tell us.

Let’s say you’ve got your heart set on a $2 million condo on Brickell Avenue in Miami, but you don’t want your name on the deed.

Maybe it’s a birthday surprise for your wife — or maybe you’re worried that people back in Rio won’t understand how you can afford such a posh crib on a government minister’s salary.

No worries, friend.

Come to Mossack Fonseca, and we’ll create an offshore shell company to help you purchase that dream condo.

Shell companies are a great way to hide ownership, and we’ll make up a legitimate-sounding name for yours.

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(Cut to client testimonial).

I’m Leon Cohen-Levy, and the Mossack Fonseca law firm helped me and my father set up 13 different offshore companies!

One of them was called BlueOcean Finance, which doesn’t sound anything like the money-laundering scam it was.

With Mossack Fonseca’s help, Dad and I were able to buy a mansion on Miami Beach, a condo on Fisher Island, fancy cars and even a helicopter.

The IRS eventually busted us for a $49 million tax fraud, and we were sentenced to 10 years in the slammer.

But that wasn’t Mossack Fonseca’s fault. We didn’t come right out and tell them we were scumbags.

Four years after we were convicted, the law firm was still listed as the registered agent for our shell companies.

Now that’s loyalty!

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(Cut back to lawyer spokesperson).

The vast majority of our clients here at Mossack Fonseca are not convicted criminals, we’re pretty sure. They’re just honest, regular folks with loads of cash they want to invest using a made-up company name, far from the jurisdiction of their country’s courts.

As a future client of Mossack Fonseca, you wouldn’t ever have to come visit us personally.

In fact, we like dealing with intermediaries, especially other lawyers.

And we have offices all over the world, from Lichtenstein to Uruguay. We’ve even got a booming operation in Wyoming, where the laws of incorporation are basically a joke.

Think of it as the Cayman Islands, with cows.

Many people come to us because they’re interested in prime Florida real estate, one of our specialties.

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(Cut to client testimonial).

My name is Helder Rodrigues Zebral. If you’ve ever been to Brasilia, you might have dined at my trendy steakhouse.

What you probably didn’t know was that I’ve been convicted twice of embezzling public funds and avoiding public bidding.

Yet, between my criminal trials in Brazil, I was able to buy a $1.9 million condo in beautiful Sunny Isles Beach.

Thanks to the hard-working lawyers at Mossack Fonseca, my dream of owning a piece of Florida’s Gold Coast came true, leaving virtually no trail of paperwork.

I highly recommend this law firm to anyone who is facing corruption charges and possible confiscation of assets in their home country.

——

(Cut back to lawyer spokesperson).

The guiding ethical philosophy of Mossack Fonseca is best summarized by co-founder Ramon Fonseca himself, in a recent exchange with the New York Times:

“We are like a car factory who sells its car to a dealer (a lawyer for example), and he sells it to a lady that hits someone.

The factory is not responsible for what is done with the car.”

So, whether you’re a restless Russian oligarch, an indicted Wall Street financier, or the new prime minister of Iceland, we here at Mossack Fonseca make this solemn commitment:

We really don’t care what you do with the “car” we sell you.

We’ll park it offshore, and happily look the other way.

Call us today, at 1-800-LOOPHOLE.

(Carl Hiaasen is a columnist for the Miami Herald. Readers may write to him at: 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, Fla., 33132.)

(c) 2016, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Photo: Euro, Hong Kong dollar, U.S. dollar, Japanese yen, pound and Chinese 100 yuan banknotes are seen in this picture illustration, in Beijing, China, January 21, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee