Nathan Proctor

John Cassara is a former Treasury Special Agent.  He has been involved in AML/CFT work for 30 years.  More information is available at www.JohnCassara.com.

Op-ed: Follow the money of opioid trafficking

The president will now declare what many of us experience first hand: The opioid epidemic is a national emergency.

Frankly, with as many as 59,000 deaths in 2016, there doesn’t seem to be any other possible description.

So many dedicated people in cities and towns, faith communities and schools, families and hospitals are fighting to save lives and help people escape addiction.

But there are also a lot of people working to keep illegal opioids on the streets.

With 2.6 million opioid addicts in the United States, the scale of drug-running operations is immense, as are the profits. It’s not a mystery why the cartels build these operations; they do it for the money, and there is a lot of money to be had.

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As Opioid Crisis Evolves, Anonymous Company Loopholes Remain a Gap

Our 2016 report, Anonymity Overdose, charted the connection between the opioid epidemic and the problem of anonymous shell companies.

As Congress ramps up funding for the national response to this crisis (though not at the levels some had hoped for), we wanted to provide an update on how the opioid trafficking operations are changing, and why ending anonymous shell companies is still an incredibly low-cost, bipartisan approach to help take on the opioid crisis.

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Anonymity Overdose

Opioid deaths now exceed those from motor vehicle accidents. It’s clear we need to do more. Fair Share Education Fund’s latest report, “Anonymity Overdose,” connects opioid trafficking and the subsequent crisis with the activities of anonymous shell companies – companies formed with no way of knowing who is actually in charge. Because they shield the owners from accountability, anonymous shell companies are a common tool for disguising criminal activity and laundering money, and are also at heart of the Panama Papers.

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