Emma Watson the latest name leaked from the Panama Papers

British actress Emma Watson is the latest high profile name to be leaked from the controversial Panama Papers.

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Emma Watson arrives at the BAFTA Los Angeles Britannia Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif.

With British actress Emma Watson being the latest name to drop from the Panama Papers list, TRTWorld decided to take a look at some other high profile personalities who've stashed their fortunes elsewhere.

Before we do so, let's understand the legality of keeping your money elsewhere.

The Legality

Although some of their actions may be illegal, the majority of these high profile names are in the clear, according to The Atlantic.

For somebody who is not a millionaire, it's easy to create an offshore shell company. The only thing needed is some money and access to the internet.

Shell companies are mostly used to avoid child maintenance, debts, taxes or to save some money for a rainy day.

However, there is a risk of getting caught and even being prosecuted.

The only difference between a non-millionaire and someone from the elite is that the latter can afford to work around certain laws without violating them.

That's where Mossack Fonseca comes in.

The law firm at the centre of the leak apparently charges a large fee to ensure that their high profile clients stay on either the right side of the law or in a grey area.

This grey area will allow them to prevail, should they ever end up in court.

Most of the those who have had their names leaked aren't really bothered because they know that their well spent money will make sure they never face charges of any kind.

So, in a nutshell, the majority of these high profile people are in the clear, according to the law.

1. Emma Watson

The “Harry Potter” star who's taking a break from acting while she works as a UN Goodwill Ambassador, is the latest name to be leaked.

A representative for the actress denied suggestions of tax evasion saying that the account was set up for protecting her anonymity and safety.

Emma Watson

2. Jackie Chan

The Panama Papers database shows that the Hong Kong actor and martial artist owns at least six offshore companies that are based in the British Virgin Islands.

Jackie Chan

3. Simon Cowell

British TV supremo Simon Cowell is the sole shareholder of two British Virgin Islands companies.

Simon Cowell

4. Lionel Messi

Argentine football star Lionel Messi also comes up in the database.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) reported that Messi established offshore shell accounts for the purpose of tax evasion.

ICIJ released the signatures of Messi and his father, showing their link to a shell corporation called Mega Star Enterprises.

He denied any allegations and threatened to sue media outlets that reported any allegations of offshore bank fraud against him.

Lionel Messi

5. Amitabh Bachchan

Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan and his daughter-in-law, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, have been named in the Panama Papers.

According to Indian Express, Bachchan was appointed as the director of at least four offshore shipping companies in the British Virgin Islands and the Bahamas.

Amitabh Bachchan and his daughter-in-law Ashwariya Rai Bachchan.

Other Names Worth Mentioning:

- Bill Gates (Co-founder of Microsoft)
- Tiger Woods (Professional golfer)
- Donald Trump (US politician)
- Gianni Infantino (FIFA president)
- Nico Rosberg (Formula 1 driver)
- Emilio Estevez (Actor)