In the News

Thanks, Paul Manafort — for showing that the U.S. needs to crack down on dirty money

Over the past two weeks, Americans have been treated to one of the most astonishing tales of grand corruption in our republic’s history. The trial of Paul Manafort – former Trump campaign chairman and lobbyist for some of the sleaziest regimes of the past quarter-century – has given us a remarkable look at the tools, the tactics and the trade craft of kleptocratic overseas regimes, and how their Western enablers have abetted America’s transformation into a thriving offshore haven.

The trial, of course, is about much more than Manafort. As the Atlantic’s Franklin Foer has written, the proceedings against the ex-lobbyist, who made tens of millions from his consulting work for then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, have offered “an occasion for the United States to awaken from its collective slumber about the creeping dangers of kleptocracy.”

Are we getting the message?
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The Miami Herald: Crackdown on dirty money shook Miami real estate. Now, Rubio wants to take it national

In a move with significant implications for the U.S. housing market, Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio is seeking to take a Treasury Department crackdown on dirty money in luxury real estate and expand it from a few high-priced enclaves to the entire nation.

Rubio says his proposal is an attempt to root out criminals who use illicit funds and anonymous shell companies to buy homes — a form of money laundering that hides the cash’s tainted origin from law enforcement and banks. The widespread practice enables terrorism, sex trafficking, corruption, and drug dealing by providing an outlet for dirty cash, according to transparency advocates.

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AEI: It’s long past time for Congress and the Treasury to step up their global anti-corruption efforts

It is time for Congress to start fighting for something larger than its component pieces. New beneficial ownership legislation, and new anti-corruption laws in general, should be framed as a pillar of a grand struggle to restore American global leadership, expand and spread American prosperity, and create space for new international opportunities with countries that want to play by the rules.

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Sven Giegold: Global tax cooperation remains crucial

Giegold is a member of a parliamentary delegation which has just concluded a fact finding trip to Washington on what the US is doing to combat financial crime.

The delegation from the economic and monetary affairs committee was in Washington and New York to meet representatives from the US Treasury, the Institute of International Bankers (IIB) and the Federal Reserve Board (FRB).

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McClatchy DC: New Panama Papers leak shows U.S. oddly inactive

A new leak of data from the embattled law firm Mossack Fonseca shows it scrambling to contain the crisis triggered by the April 2016 leak of the Panama Papers and attempting to field demands for information from authorities in numerous countries — with the glaring exception of the United States.

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ThinkProgress: Delaware ready to crack down on anonymous shell companies

At long last, the U.S. may be moving toward preventing the types of anonymous shell companies that criminals, kleptocrats, and arms dealers have long sought. But just as Delaware, the country’s leading anonymous shell company provider, gets on board with new transparency measures, Congress has taken a significant step back, gutting a bill that could have potentially ended the U.S.’s role as the world’s anonymous company capital.

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Quartz: House Republicans are gutting a bill to fight money-laundering

House Republicans this week axed a key passage in a bill that is deemed crucial in the fight to stop kleptocrats, drug traffickers and terrorists from laundering money through the US.

The original legislation would have forced anyone setting up a company in the US to tell authorities who the actual owner was. Law enforcement, anti-corruption groups and national security experts say this is essential in fighting crimes that range from child trafficking to Russian election hacking; America’s opaque incorporation laws can otherwise make it impossible to find out who is behind a company benefiting from such crimes.

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