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Trump sold $1.5 billion of condos to potential money launderers thanks to this gaping loophole (Quartz)

Posted on by Jane Hagan

Shell companies can provide an extraordinary level of secrecy, making it impossible for even the seller to know who they’re making a deal with. That helps out a huge array of people who want to hide illicit funds. As Shruti Shah of anti-corruption NGO Coalition for Integrity puts it, shell firms’ secrecy makes them “a favorite tool for just about any criminal from tax evaders and money launderers to drug traffickers and kleptocrats.” Read more

Secret Money: How Trump Made Millions Selling Condos to Unknown Buyers (Buzzfeed news)

Posted on by Jane Hagan

“It’s not that common for someone to buy expensive real estate with cash, and if it’s a shell company, you want to find out who the buyer is and the sources of their funds,” said Shruti Shah, vice president of programs and operations at the Coalition for Integrity, an anti-corruption group. “It could be illicit money from foreign corruption, drug trafficking, human trafficking – all sorts of bad things.” Read more

Integrity First

Posted on by Jane Hagan

Foreign Services Journal, December, 2017. Alan Larson – Chairman, Board of Directors, Coalition for Integrity, Inc., Ambassador, retired, DC. Read more

Shruti Shah and Marian Currinder: Friends don’t shower money and gifts on friends (FCPA Blog)

Posted on by Jane Hagan

The McDonnell decision has likely made it easier for politicians to engage in ethically questionable behavior. In the absence of much stricter gift laws or precedent changing court decisions, what can be done? For one, politicians can simply pledge to not accept extravagant gifts from their friends. Read more

C4I Calls on President Trump to Lead by Example

Posted on by Jane Hagan

Coalition for Integrity calls on President Trump to fully separate himself from his businesses and be transparent about his past business dealings, including at the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama. The Narco-A-Lago story also highlights how essential it is that people involved in the real estate industry conduct due diligence on buyers’ identities and the sources of their funds to avoid misuse of the property market by money launderers and other criminals. Read more

Shruti Shah: Every big corruption story features anonymous companies (FCPA Blog)

Posted on by Jane Hagan

How much do “ordinary folk” benefit from secret offshore structures when the main beneficiaries are a wealthy minority, often expats? The ability to conceal illicitly obtained funds fuels corruption, breeds instability and diverts resources from those who should benefit. Read more

C4I Urges Beneficial Ownership Disclosure Following Paradise Papers Leak

Posted on by Jane Hagan

Coalition for Integrity calls for collection of beneficial ownership information by all jurisdictions following the massive Paradise Papers leak. Read more

C4I on the Paradise Papers and Shell Companies

Posted on by Jane Hagan

Shruti Shah speaks with the BBC about the Paradise Papers and shell companies. Watch the interview

Shruti Shah: Paradise Papers show need to close beneficial owner loopholes (FCPA Blog)

Posted on by Jane Hagan

While shell companies have legitimate uses, their opacity makes them a favorite tool for tax evaders, money launderers, corrupt public officials and other criminals. The leaks also shine a light on the role of offshore tax havens. Read more

When Does a Friend’s Gift Become a Bribe? (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Posted on by Jane Hagan

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez is the latest high-profile politician to claim that the extravagant gifts he accepted over a period of several years were nothing more than presents from a good friend. When are gifts from friends considered bribes? The jury’s job is made more complicated by the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to narrow the definition of “official actions” in corruption cases. Read more