Ownership Transparency

The U.S. is the easiest place in the world for a criminal, terrorist, tax cheat, or kleptocrat to open an anonymous shell company to launder their money with impunity. Anonymous corporations are great ways to hide money and other assets — they can hold a bank account or buy a yacht. Criminals often layer anonymous corporations, with one owning another and so on, making it even harder for law enforcement to “trace the money” and figure out who is directing the company’s activity. It’s time to ending the use of anonymous shell companies as vehicles for illicit activity by requiring that the true owners of U.S. companies be disclosed at the time of formation and updated upon any change.

Combating Corruption to Drive Democratic Renewal: A Kickoff Event for the Summit for Democracy  

On December 6, the Brookings Institution, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Center for European Policy Analysis, the Transatlantic Democracy Working Group, the FACT Coalition, and the Leveraging Transparency to Reduce Corruption initiative will co-host a seminar on the fight against corruption and its relationship to advancing democracy and addressing democratic backsliding globally.   

Read More

November 17th Panel – American Kleptocracy

Casey Michel’s new book, “American Kleptocracy” (released Nov. 23), is an investigative look into how the U.S. built “the largest illicit offshore finance system the world has ever known” and how this system has “infected American politics, threatened US national security and gouged local communities.”

Read More

Financial Secrecy Feeds Kleptocracy and Environmental Destruction. Now is the Time for the U.S. and the World to Act on Beneficial Ownership Reform

Operating in financial secrecy, bad actors are free to profit from environmental degradation, and in doing so undermine the global fight against climate change. As global leaders make new commitments this week at COP26, it’s time that politicians promise to shine a light on global financial secrecy, particularly the use of anonymous shell companies, as a crucial climate reform.

Read More

Transparency is the Prize in Post-Pandora Papers Scramble

The past week’s revelations through the “Pandora Papers” – the largest exposé to-date of how global politicians, business leaders, celebrities, and multinational companies use and abuse the “offshore” financial system – are both shocking and surprisingly familiar.

Read More

Massive “Pandora Papers” Financial Secrecy Leaks Highlight Need for U.S. Reforms

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, along with major news outlets such as the Washington Post, yesterday revealed the largest leak of private financial records to date, eclipsing the Panama Papers in scope and scale. The “Pandora Papers” confirm the use of a secretive “offshore” financial system that allows criminals, world leaders, and others to hide billions of dollars from authorities, fueling tax dodging and corruption.

Read More