“Just the FACTs” is a round-up of news stories and information regarding efforts to combat corrupt financial practices, including offshore tax haven abuses, corporate secrecy, and the laundering of money through the financial system.
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Here’s the State of Play
RSVP: FACT to Host Oliver Bullough and Lawmakers in Conversation Tomorrow on World’s “Butlers” to Dirty Money
A follow up to his bestseller Moneyland, Oliver Bullough’s latest work, Butler to the World, reveals Britain’s decades-long role in supporting the financial schemes and crimes of the world’s oligarchs. This month, Bullough joins FACT for a discussion alongside Representative Abigail Spanberger, a member of the CAFCAK in Congress, and U.K. MP Kevin Hollinrake who has spearheaded efforts against economic crimes across the pond. The panel will consider the unparalleled role that London and Washington have played in giving financial shelter to the world’s criminal actors and kleptocrats and the movement growing on both sides of the Atlantic to bring the enabling to an end. Especially during what lawmakers in Congress have termed #KleptoMonth, Bullough’s work is a timely reminder of what must still be done to advance the global anti-corruption agenda. You can RSVP Here.
#KleptoMonth 2 Brings Fresh Opportunities to Tackle Persistent Corruption Problems
Bad actors beware – it’s #KleptoMonth again in Washington, D.C. In their announcement last Friday, the bipartisan leadership of the Congressional Caucus against Foreign Corruption and Kleptocracy (CAFCAK) joined dozens of civil society activists, the FACT Coalition among them, in calling for the rest of Congress to take action.
First held in June of 2021, #KleptoMonth offers an opportunity to advance critical anti-corruption reforms to address the vulnerabilities in the U.S. financial system and its anti-money laundering defenses. #KleptoMonth 2021, launched alongside the Congressional Caucus against Foreign Corruption and Kleptocracy, saw several bills introduced or marked up in Congress. This month, however, it cannot be enough to merely discuss and introduce new anti-corruption tools. It’s time for Congress to work to pass these needed reforms and deliver them to the White House so that the administration can use them in the global fight against corruption.
The stakes of inaction have only grown higher since #KleptoMonth 2021. The world has watched the tragic havoc that unmitigated kleptocracy can wreak through the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Not only does it empower Putin and his cronies in their attacks on civilians, but it has harmed global prosperity and stability through related increases in food and energy prices. Renewed attention toward oligarchs’ dirty money in the U.S. – particularly in private equity – calls for immediate action by the Biden Administration to clamp down on ill-gotten gains. The U.S. also has a singular responsibility in fighting global corruption because of its preeminent role in enabling it. As FACT explored in a May 17th panel with Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the U.S. has acquired the dishonorable distinction of number one secrecy jurisdiction in the Tax Justice Network’s 2022 Financial Secrecy Index (FSI).
Administration Sends Mixed Messages on Commitment to Countering Corruption
FACT welcomed Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo’s testimony before Congress calling for additional funding for the nation’s financial crime fighters. In his remarks, he asked that lawmakers fulfill President Biden’s $210.3 million dollar request for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in full. The day after his testimony, House appropriators announced a FY2023 funding bill that included $310.33 million for FinCEN, and FACT is encouraging Senate appropriators to follow suit. With the U.S. facing what Treasury officials estimate to be a $460 billion illicit finance problem (equaling 2 percent of U.S. GDP), every penny that Congress invests in FinCEN will be money well spent.
While the Treasury Department has laudably renewed its call for anti-corruption resources, the same cannot be said for the White House and its performance at the Ninth Summit of the Americas. Despite the previous Summit’s central focus on democratic governance, anti-corruption barely made it into President Biden’s agenda during the inaugural ceremony of the summit. Moreover, as FACT noted, the Summit has so far failed to deliver on the needed commitments to advance corporate transparency or stem real estate money laundering, which plagues the U.S. and the region.
Latest from FACT
|PRESS RELEASE: Treasury Department Makes Urgent Plea for Funding for the Nation’s Financial Crime Fighters |
June 14: FACT backs Deputy Secretary Adeyemo’s testimony before Congress calling for increased appropriations for FinCEN, the nation’s financial crime fighters.
|PRESS RELEASE: Summit Anti-Corruption Commitments Must Include U.S. Domestic Anti-Money Laundering Reforms |
June 9: In response to President Biden’s kickoff of the Ninth Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, FACT reiterated the need for the U.S. to back up its anti-corruption aspirations with needed U.S. domestic reforms in corporate and real estate transparency.
FACT in the News
|QUOTED IN: US May Feel Pressure To Enact Int’l Min. Tax Deal, Eventually|
June 10: FACT’s Policy Director Ryan Gurule is quoted in Law360 discussing the growing pressure the U.S. will face to implement the landmark OECD international tax agreement.
|MENTIONED IN: The European Parliament Comes To Washington To Talk Tax|
June 7: Johan Langerock, policy advisor in the European Parliament, discusses meeting with the FACT Coalition in an interview with Forbes.
Recent and Upcoming Events
|“Butler(s) to the World” – Ending Dirty Money in the UK and US|
June 22: The FACT coalition will host Oliver Bullough on June 22nd at 12 p.m. EDT as he launches his latest book “The Butler to the World” here in the U.S. In this book, Oliver explains how the UK has developed a system of bankers, lawyers, accountants and PR professionals, who work to help Russian and other kleptocrats hide their wealth. Watch for more information on how to attend. FACT is further joined by Rep. Abigail Spanberger from Congress’ Caucus Against Foreign Corruption and Kleptocracy and U.K. MP Kevin Hollinrake, co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking.
About the FACT Coalition