September 28th – 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. ET (Washington)
Co-hosted by the FACT Coalition and the Hudson Institute
Moderator: Nate Sibley, The Hudson Institute, Kleptocracy Initiative
- Oliver Windridge, The Sentry
- Lakshmi Kumar, Global Financial Integrity
- Scott Greytak, Transparency International U.S.
- Erica Hanichak, the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition
Where does a sanctioned Russian oligarch store a billion dollars amid heightened scrutiny of Russian wealth abroad? According to the oligarchs, their ill-gotten gains are better off in Dover, Delaware, than in a Russian dacha. On June 30th, the U.S. Treasury Department blocked more than $1 billion in funds held by gold-magnate and Putin-financier Suleiman Kerimov via a Delaware trust. The trust had been serving as Kerimov’s U.S. piggy bank for almost five years – meanwhile, the U.S. professionals that set up the trust or managed the money were under no legal obligation to have basic safeguards that could flag and prevent the laundering of suspect money into the United States.
Authoritarians around the world rely on professional “enablers” – lawyers, accountants, investment advisors, and other professionals – to fuel their violent kleptocracies, as demonstrated by a new report released on September 21st by The Sentry, an investigative and policy organization that tracks corruption.
The U.S. is in the last 10 percent of countries that have not implemented the first piece of the solution, and – per the Treasury’s own acknowledgement – is currently one of the best places in the world to “hide and launder ill-gotten gains.” Gaps in U.S. anti-money laundering laws leave our country open to the schemes of criminal organizations and kleptocrats opposed to U.S. interests, like Kerimov, hoping to store their wealth in the U.S. with impunity.
Change could be on the horizon, however. In its 2022 national strategy, the U.S. Treasury committed to partner with Congress to turn the tides on U.S. enablers. A bipartisan bill to crack down on the enablers of crime and corruption was included in the defense bill passed by the House in July and is now pending in the Senate.
Join leading anti-corruption experts on September 28th for a staff briefing cohosted by the FACT Coalition and the Hudson Institute on the scale of the problem posed by enablers and the future of this crucial reform agenda.