ONE OF THE FOUR members of the Mossack Fonseca (MF) law firm facing money laundering charges, has revealed to details of the firm’s role in the Brazilian Petrobras bribery scandal and its use of shell companies to move funds through different jurisdictions.
Maria Mercedes Riaño has told prosecutors details about the firm's operations that included shielding bribes paid to Brazilian politicians in exchange for contracts from stateowned oil company Petrobras.
In the investigation carried out Feb. 15, Riaño, the former manager of the firm's Brazil office, told prosecutors that lawyer Humberto Urroz was in charge of Evolusof, a section of the firm,and that he followed directions from Jürgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca.
"They were in control of the total operation, negotiating prices with customers and making decisions," Riaño said.
The lawyer, who is in detention while being investigated, said she never acted as a lawyer for the Brazil office.
"I never practiced as a lawyer in this law firm, nor did I sign any documents from this office. I was just a sales promoter, as they called me," she said.
She added that Sara Montenegro was in charge of Mossack Fonseca's legal affairs and handled matters related to the firm's senior members.
"She was the person who went out to defend the firm in every international scandal. She had a very important role because she did not perform common procedures. She was the chief lawyer and a trustworthy staff member Mossack and Fonseca," Riaña said.
She also said the law firm sought to move funds through shell companies in jurisdictions such as Holland, New Zealand and Chile, since the firm was not on any blacklist pf the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
In addition to Riaño, authorities have detained n addition to Riaño, authorities have also detained Mossack, Fonseca and Edison Teano case.