Pornhub co-owner David Tassillo exposed in Pandora Papers as docs show he 'cloaked identity in several tax havens'

Pornhub co-owner David Tassillo exposed in Pandora Papers as docs show he 'cloaked identity in several tax havens'

October 4, 2021

PORNHUB co-owner David Tassillo has been named in the Pandora Papers with the documents alleging he hid his identity in several tax havens.

Documents shared with The Toronto Star show Tassillo is named in connection with companies based in Delaware, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands.

The businessman is said to have used nominee directors and shareholders for these companies.

A nominee director or shareholder allows the real owner to stay hidden for a small fee. 

The secret offshore wealth of hundreds of world leaders – including associates of the Russian president – celebrities, and multi-millionaires has been exposed in documents dubbed the Pandora Papers.

The activities detailed in the papers are believed to have been legal but have attracted criticism due to their nature.

Tassillo said in a statement to The Sun that "the transactions and structure were entirely appropriate." 

He added: "To support the business, we established companies in Delaware, like many Fortune 500 companies, as well as Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands.

"Every facet of the business, including tax obligations, was handled in accordance with the law."

Tassillo said: "A total of $100,000 was earned through this pilot project, the entirety of which went to the Delaware company, and taxes were paid in full. No money went through the companies in Anguilla or the British Virgin Islands."

He added: "The pilot program concluded in 2018, and every facet of the business, including tax obligations, was handled in accordance with the law.

"This structure, established purely to support this pilot program, was the first and only I have ever set up on behalf of MindGeek, and the transactions and structure were entirely appropriate."

In June Pornhub's parent company Mindgeek was accused in a lawsuit of creating "hundreds of sham shell companies scattered throughout the world."

The suit claimed: "This shell game existed exclusively to implement and mask the enterprise’s criminal schemes, evade taxes, launder money, and insulate enterprise members from culpability."

Pornhub denied all the allegations against it.

And responding to the lawsuit said at the time: "The allegations…that Pornhub is a criminal enterprise that traffics women and is run like ‘The Sopranos’ are utterly absurd, completely reckless and categorically false.

"Pornhub takes seriously every complaint regarding the abuse of our platform.”

Following the latest allegations Pornhub said there was no link between the lawsuit and the new claims.

Other cases named VIPs include world leaders who have been accused of hiding funds collectively worth trillions of pounds.

Some 12million files show more than 330 billionaires, religious leaders, politicians and drug dealers dealing in mansions, beachfront property, yachts and other assets.

Beneficiaries of secret accounts include Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Czech PM Andrej Babis, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and associates of both Pakistani PM Imran Khan and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Putin’s alleged lover alone has property worth more than £70million.

The papers link the Russian president to secret assets in Monaco and reveal an offshore company owned by his alleged lover bought a $4.1million apartment below the principality's casino.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie have also been caught up.

They are said to have dodged paying £312,000 in stamp duty when buying a £6.45million townhouse, documents show.

They got it by buying the offshore company that owned it, according to the papers.

The report released on Sunday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists involved 600 journalists from 150 media outlets in 117 countries.

Many of the accounts were designed to evade taxes and conceal assets for other shady reasons, according to the report.

The Pandora Papers are a follow to a similar project released in 2016 called the Panama Papers, compiled by the same journalistic group.

This latest bombshell is even more expansive, porting through nearly 3 terabytes of data the equivalent of roughly 750,000 photos on a smartphone leaked from 14 different service providers doing business in 38 different jurisdictions in the world.

The records date back to the 1970s, but most of the files span from 1996 to 2020.

In contrast, the Panama Papers culled through 2.6 terabytes of data leaked by one now-defunct law firm called Mossack Fonseca that was located in the country that inspired that project's nickname.

The latest investigation dug into accounts registered in familiar offshore havens, including the British Virgin Islands, Seychelles, Hong Kong, and Belize.

But some of the secret accounts were also scattered around in trusts set up in the US, including 81 in South Dakota and 37 in Florida.

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