News Release

U.S. PIRG Applauds Attorneys General for Issuing Call to End Anonymous Shell Companies

For Immediate Release

Twenty-four Attorneys General from states across the country released acalling for an end to anonymous shell companies, a primary vehicle for money laundering and facilitating all manner of crimes. U.S. PIRG applauds this call to action.

“Anonymous shell companies are a favorite tool in many criminals’ tool box, allowing fraudsters, tax dodgers, and worse to hide behind a veil of secrecy,” said Michelle Surka, campaign director with U.S. Public Interest Research Group. “Attorneys General, who often handle these crimes in their own offices, are demanding that the U.S. take action to close this loophole.”

With bipartisan leadership from Attorneys General Cynthia Coffman (R-CO) and Robert Ferguson (D-WA), the letter states that investigations into human trafficking, fraud, drug trade, and other crimes often stall when investigators cannot access information about the real owner of companies used to launder ill-earned money. By requiring companies to provide information about their beneficial owner before incorporation, investigators would be able to better follow the money.

Twenty-four attorneys general have signed the letter calling on Congress to end anonymous companies, including:

 

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman - Colorado

Attorney General Bob Ferguson - Washington

Attorney General Xavier Becerra - California

Attorney General George Jepsen - Connecticut

Attorney General Matthew Denn - Delaware

Attorney General Karl Racine - District of Columbia

Attorney General Russell Suzuki - Hawaii

Attorney General Lisa Madigan - Illinois

Attorney General Tom Miller - Iowa

Attorney General Janet Mills - Maine

Attorney General Brian Frosh - Maryland

Attorney General Maura Healey - Massachusetts

Attorney General Lori Swanson - Minnesota

Attorney General Jim Hood - Mississippi

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal - New Jersey

Attorney General Hector Balderas - New Mexico

Attorney General Josh Stein - North Carolina

Attorney General Edward Manibusan - Northern Mariana Islands

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum - Oregon

Attorney General Josh Shapiro - Pennsylvania

Attorney General Wanda Vázquez Garced - Puerto Rico

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin - Rhode Island

Attorney General T.J. Donovan - Vermont

Attorney General Mark Herring - Virginia

Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the Corporate Transparency Act last summer, which would require states or the federal government to collect beneficial ownership information and provide access to that information to law enforcement. Recently, said that he aims to make beneficial ownership information accessible to law enforcement within the next six months.

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