Summary of Dirty Little Secrets


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Dirty Little Secrets summary
The Panama Papers investigation has opened a window into the shadowy world of shell companies and tax havens.


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Investigative reporter Catherine Dunn explains how “registered agents” help drug lords, bank robbers and corrupt officials set up shell companies that conceal their assets. Dunn also shares the Panama Papers investigation’s intelligence on one of the worst offenders: the Panama-based legal firm Mossack Fonseca. This eye-opening exploration of one of the largest leaks in history exposes how the rich, corrupt and criminal really do business. In the interests of being fair and balanced, Dunn also reveals how easy it is to set up a shell company in the United States. While always politically neutral, getAbstract recommends this report to those concerned about the shadow economy.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What the Panama Papers investigation has revealed about the role of lawyers and “registered agents” in financial crimes,
  • How privacy laws in the United States and offshore protect criminals, and
  • Why the Panamanian law firm and registered agent Mossack Fonseca is in the spotlight.


The Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca acts as a “registered agent,” creating shell companies in tax havens. Shell companies provide an anonymous way to launder funds from unpaid taxes, corruption and crime. Mossack Fonseca produces documentation, signatures and mailing addresses, while the companies...
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About the Author

Catherine Dunn is an investigative reporter for Fusion.

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