Efraim Diveroli, David Packouz and Alexander Podrizki sold aging weapons and ammunition originally from China and the former Eastern Bloc to America’s allies in Iraq and Afghanistan, all the while inhaling epic clouds of marijuana smoke. They were in their early 20s.
The Miami Herald searched for Fellas’ name in the Mossack Fonseca files and discovered that he served as a so-called “nominee” director for at least 30 offshore companies set up by MF between 2002 and 2007. The companies were all based in the Seychelles, an offshore haven in the Indian Ocean.
Critics call corporate figureheads such as Fellas “dummy directors” and say they serve little purpose except to shroud a company’s real owner in secrecy. There’s no evidence that Mossack Fonseca set up Evdin. The company does not appear in the leaked files. But Fellas’ role in the scandal illustrates how the anonymous ownership of companies enables wrongdoing.
It’s clear he was standing in for someone else at Evdin: The company’s real owner was Swiss arms dealer Heinrich Thomet, according to a 2008 investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives. Thomet had been placed on a U.S. government watch list of suspected arms smugglers in 2006. The reason for his blacklisting was classified by the Central Intelligence Agency, the inquiry found.
In an interview with the Miami Herald, Packouz confirmed that Thomet used Evdin to sell the young men weapons. He said that he and Diveroli met Thomet at an arms fair in Las Vegas in 2006 as they were getting into the game of selling arms. (Diveroli’s family worked in the industry.)