Press

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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House AML Bill is a Missed Opportunity

By Gary Kalman

At first look, the banking community should be pleased with a bill scheduled for a vote this week in the House Financial Services Committee. Several provisions aim to reduce the compliance costs of financial institutions when trying to meet the requirements of anti-money-laundering rules.

Yet first looks can be deceiving.

A previous version of the bill, a discussion draft examined by the committee in November, included virtually all of the current provisions, such as incentives for innovation, increased information sharing and feedback from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and streamlining of suspicious activity reporting. But one provision missing from the latest draft of the bill is a section to require Fincen to collect beneficial ownership information at the time of corporate formation and share that information with financial institutions and law enforcement. Considering Fincen’s new customer due diligence rule, which requires banks to identify beneficial owners of certain corporate bank accounts, this provision would have reduced compliance costs and potential liability should banks find themselves at odds with their regulators over AML compliance.

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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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Delaware Endorses Bill to Tackle Anonymous Companies

Move Comes as Lawmakers Consider Dropping Important Anti-Money Laundering Section from Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Delaware’s top government official overseeing company formation in the state endorsed a bipartisan federal proposal to require companies to disclose their true owners at the time of formation in new a new letter to Congress.

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America must continue the fight against kleptocracy around the globe

Criminals and corrupt government officials and businesses use anonymous companies – usually registered in Western, developed countries – to move and hide assets, launder money, and evade law enforcement. The true owners of these companies should be required to report to authorities their identity when incorporating as a company or legal entity. This simple transparency would make it much harder for corrupt officials to steal vast wealth from their populations.

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Congress must step up sanctions law to stop American adversaries

Though it may seem fanciful, there is a powerful tool that is tailor made for simultaneously combating North Korean nukes, Russian aggression, Chinese influence, and Iranian maleficence. This tool is beneficial ownership. In practice, existing beneficial ownership rules in the United States require compliance departments to collect, verify, and store data on clients, all at a cost to the consumer.

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Facebook Shareholders to Vote on Responsible Tax Principles

Tax Experts Travel to California to Present Proposal following November’s Paradise Papers Exposé

SAN FRANCISCO, California / WASHINGTON, D.C. — Facebook investors will vote Thursday on a proposal to require the company’s board to adopt responsible tax principles following the release of November’s Paradise Papers exposé, which exposed the structures behind massive tax dodging schemes of well-known multinational companies, including Apple, Facebook, and Nike.

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More than 50 Organizations Urge Congress to End the Tax Preference for Shifting Jobs and Profits Offshore

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, more than 50 national organizations sent a letter urging members of Congress to co-sponsor the No Tax Breaks for Outsourcing Act, which would overhaul the new international tax system put in place by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to ensure that multinational corporations are no longer allowed to pay a lower tax rate on their offshore profits than they pay on their domestic profits.

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New Treasury Sanctions Are Unenforceable

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the U.S. Treasury Department unveiled sanctions against five Iranian individuals Tuesday for providing “ballistic missile-related technical expertise to Yemen’s Huthis,” the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition warned that the United States has failed to equip itself with the tools to enforce those sanctions.

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