Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Press Release

U.S. PIRG Applauds Introduction of Bill to End Anonymous Shell Companies

WASHINGTON -

This Wednesday, Representatives Peter King (R-NY) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced the Corporate Transparency Act. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) also introduced their companion bill, the True Incorporation Transparency for Law Enforcement (TITLE) Act. U.S. PIRG applauds the introduction of these bills, which would put an end to anonymous shell companies in the U.S.

If enacted, these bills would give law enforcement an important tool for investigating a number of crimes that are facilitated by money laundering through anonymous shell companies. The U.S. is the second easiest country in which to incorporate a business without listing the real owners and beneficiaries of the company’s operations. In some states, getting a library card requires more identifying information than incorporating a company.

“Consumer scams, defrauding taxpayers, tax evasion, secretive campaign spending, corruption, sanctions evasion, drug trafficking, and human trafficking are all facilitated by anonymous shell companies,” said Allie Robins, U.S. PIRG Tax and Budget Associate. “The solution is to simply strike ‘anonymous’ out of the equation. When criminals can disappear behind a shroud of anonymity to launder their ill-earned money, law enforcement loses the trail and the American people are worse off for it.”

U.S. PIRG has worked in conjunction with the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition to advocate for the establishment of a law that would require the government to collect information about the identities of the real, “beneficial” owners of companies operating in the U.S. If enacted, the Corporate Transparency Act would:

  • Establish minimum beneficial ownership disclosure requirements that would mandate that a company must provide beneficial owners’ names, current addresses, and legal identification upon incorporation.
  • Require the Treasury Department to collect beneficial ownership information if a state opts to not enact its own procedures.
  • Provide civil penalties for persons who submit false or fraudulent beneficial ownership information, or who fail to provide complete or updated beneficial ownership information.

This solution is supported across the aisle and by small businesses, banks, law enforcement, faith groups, and a number of other organizations and individuals invested deeply in protecting the public from bad actors.

“There is no legitimate business reason for a company to operate anonymously,” said Robins. “Enacting the Corporate Transparency Act or the TITLE Act would address a far reaching problem with a simple solution, making Americans safer and sending criminals packing.”

U.S. PIRG urges Congress to support this legislation and empower law enforcement to root out some of the shadiest characters operating in the U.S. today.

Click here to read more about crimes and wrongdoing facilitated by anonymous shell companies.

###

U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), stands up to powerful special interests on behalf of the American public, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being. With a strong network of researchers, advocates, organizers and students in state capitols across the country, we take on the special interests on issues, such as product safety,political corruption, prescription drugs and voting rights,where these interests stand in the way of reform and progress.

Sanders Demands End to Medicare Premium Hike From Alzheimer's Drug

Biogen's original price for the controversial drug, he argues, "is the perfect example of why Medicare should be negotiating drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Monumental Victory' as Biden Cancels Boundary Waters Mining Leases

Rep. Betty McCollum called the administration's decision "a rejection of the deeply flawed and politically motivated process under the Trump administration."

Brett Wilkins ·


Rights Groups Demand Hearings on the 'Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act'

"The longer Congress waits," warned one advocate, "the stronger and more dangerous this industry will become."

Kenny Stancil ·


Democrats Urge Biden to Abandon Dangerous Trump Policies on Nuclear Weapons

With the Nuclear Posture Review, say congressional lawmakers, the president can ensure "future generations can finally be free from the nuclear sword of Damocles that hangs over all our heads."

Andrea Germanos ·


'There Is No Military Solution': Jayapal, Lee Demand Diplomacy on Ukraine

"We call upon our colleagues to allow the administration to find a diplomatic way out of this crisis," said the progressive Democrats.

Jake Johnson ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo