Shell Companies Allow Robocallers to Make Billions of Illegal Phone Calls

Back in June, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) formally filed a complaint alleging that TelWeb, a telemarketing system, used multiple shell companies to bypass laws against telemarketing robocalls. TelWeb has been the target of other lawsuits by the FTC.  The investigation alleges that the system was used to conduct billions of illegal phone calls by telemarketers through an enterprise of shell companies.

The fact that this same system has been the target of so many separate investigations is evidence of a larger problem — companies can be formed in the United States without disclosing their beneficial ownership information (the people who truly own them), allowing criminals to quickly rebrand and jump right back into doing the same illegal activities under a fresh new corporate name. TelWeb was able to use multiple shell companies throughout its scamming system, and the men in charge of connecting TelWeb to telemarketers have a history of being named in previous FTC lawsuits.  Yet they were able to continue in the industry under different names.

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Small businesses need Congress’ help to crack down on fraud

Sometimes it feels like you have to be a superhero to build a successful small business. From performing multiple jobs to working long hours, it takes a lot of skill and strength to succeed.
One thing no small-business owner can do, however, is actually fight crime. As a result, Congress must protect small-business owners like me from fraud by requiring businesses to disclose the true identity of their owners.

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Anonymous Companies

Ask the Government to Know Who It Does Business with to Protect Us All

25 Organizations Send Letter to Congress Urging Beneficial Ownership Transparency in Procurement Process
The U.S. government has long recognized that it does not have enough information on the identities of its contractors—those that help protect our national security, provide medical and educational services, and build infrastructure.
“‘[T]here is no database in the U.S. government’ that provides reliable subcontractor information.”
— Ray DiNunzio, Special Investigator General for Afghanistan Reconstruction chief investigator from August 2009 to 2011 (via the Washington Post)

This lack of information can harm us all.

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Anonymous Companies Fueling Waste, Fraud, and Abuse of Taxpayers’ Money

New Report Highlights Need for Congressional, Administrative Action
WASHINGTON, DC — A new report released today by Global Witness, a member of the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition, highlights how anonymous shell companies are ripping-off taxpayers and putting the lives of American military personnel at risk.  The report is titled, “Hidden Menace: How Secret Company Owners Are Putting Troops at Risk and Harming American Taxpayers”.

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