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Leaked financial documents peppered with celebrity names

Rachel DeSantis, New York Daily News on

Published in Entertainment News

Politicians aren't the only famous faces named in the leaked "Paradise Papers" -- Bono, Madonna and actress Keira Knightley all pop up, too.

The papers -- which were released Sunday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists -- include 13.4 million documents that detail offshore holdings by high-profile figures like Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Queen Elizabeth II.

Bono -- who is listed by his real name, Paul Hewson -- is revealed to have been a part owner of a shopping mall in the small town of Utena, Lithuania, after investing with a company based in Malta.

The U2 frontman had a stake in Nude Estates, a Maltese company which bought the Ausra mall just after it opened in 2007, according to the Guardian.

Because the island nation -- located between the south of Italy and the North African coast -- is a low-tax jurisdiction, the tax paid on any profits earned by foreign investors is reduced to 5 percent.

The mall was transferred in 2012 to a company based in Guernsey, England, with a similar name: Nude Estates I.

"Bono was a passive, minority investor in Nude Estates Malta Ltd., a company that was legally registered in Malta until it was voluntarily wound up in 2015. Malta is a well-established holding company jurisdiction within the EU," a spokesperson for the singer told the Guardian.

Meanwhile, the ICIJ also claims the documents reveal that pop star Madonna has a share in a medical supplies company, while actress Keira Knightley has invested in a Jersey-based real estate firm.

Queen Elizabeth was named as an investor in a Cayman Islands fund previously unknown to the public.

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