TI-USA joined several other civil society organizations in sending a letter to Speaker Ryan, Minority Leader Pelosi, Chairman Hensarling and Ranking Member Waters urging them to support the Cardin-Lugar Anti-Corruption rule and vote no on H.J. Resolution 41. Read more
TI-USA’s Shah: President-elect Trump has been elected on the basis of ending the cronyism that exists in Washington, so he has to set a very high standard for himself—so that everybody, including the American people, feels that neither he, nor his businesses, nor his family are getting any preferential treatment.” Read more
“Democracy is best served when elected officials are wholly committed to advancing public interest,” said Shruti Shah, vice president for programs and operations at the U.S. branch of Transparency International. Read more
Contract publication can help journalists and citizen watchdog groups to monitor decisions and ensure that decision makers are held accountable,” said Shruti Shah, vice president of programs and operations for the advocacy group Transparency International-USA. Read more
“Many of the larger real estate companies will say, ‘Well, we don’t do any cash transactions, and the big banks are doing the due diligence, so we don’t have any obligation,’ ” said Shruti Shah, a vice president at anti-corruption nonprofit Transparency International-USA. “But for any anti-money-laundering system to function well in any country, you need multiple checks and balances. It’s not enough that financial institutions are required to do due diligence. 1MDB shows that.” Read more
Shruti Shah, vice president of programs and operations at Transparency International in the US, notes the US still offers many dark channels allowing dirty money to move unseen.
While it “would be even better… to prevent these assets from being stolen (in the first place),” she said, “we need to do something about intermediaries – bankers, lawyers and the real estate industry.” Read more
In its McDonnell v. United States decision, a unanimous Supreme Court affirmed states’ right to regulate ” permissible scope of interactions between state officials and their constituents.” It is not the federal government’s role, according to the Court, to set standards of “good government for local and state officials.” Read more
Shruti Shah, VP Programs and Operations, Transparency International-USA
Co-authored by Marian Currinder, Policy Director for government accountability, Transparency International-USA
TI-USA VP Shruti Shah was on the BBC Newsday on July 20, 2016 with Rico Hizon (Singapore correspondent) talking about the significance of the U.S action with regard to 1MDB and the loopholes in the U.S framework which allow dirty money to come into the U.S
In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court vacated former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s eleven corruption convictions. The jury that convicted McDonnell was given erroneous instructions, according to the Court. At issue was the question of what constitutes an “official act.” Read more
Co-Written by: Shruti Shah, Vice President, Programs and Operations, TI-USA
This month, the national parties will gather for their nominating conventions. In addition to selecting their presidential nominees, Democrats and Republicans will debate and adopt their official party platforms. Transparency International – USA, a non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization, believes that transparency and integrity should be defining principles of these platforms. Read more
Co-Written by: Marian Currinder, Policy Director for the government accountability portfolio at Transparency International-USA.
TI-USA welcomes the SEC’s adoption on June 27 of a rule requiring oil, gas and mining companies to publicly disclose, on a project-by-project basis, payments made to governments for the commercial development of oil, natural gas or minerals. Thus, resource extraction payment information as required by the new SEC rule will be of great use in identifying corruption in the resource extraction sector and holding governments and companies accountable. Read More
Contributor: Shruti Shah, Vice President, Programs and Operations, TI-USA
“When you think about the money that’s stolen it’s like an inverted pyramid,” says Shruti Shah, vice-president of programmes and operations at Transparency International USA. “The top is the money that’s stolen. A smaller percentage is frozen and a minuscule percentage is actually returned. All government and international institutions should work harder to try to find solutions.” Read more
Money has a tendency to move, and Switzerland is hardly the only tax haven. If it becomes impractical to hide fortunes there, the money could migrate to Singapore, or, for that matter, to America. Shruti Shah, the vice-president of Transparency International U.S.A., recently found that in such states as Delaware and Nevada it is easier to establish an anonymous shell company than it is to obtain a library card. Read more
The massive leak dubbed the Panama Papers has given the UK Anti-Corruption Summit on May 12 an unexpected boost. Those coming to the summit, now including the U.S., are lining up to make announcements about the steps they are taking to tackle corruption and specifically financial secrecy. Read more
TI-USA’s Shruti Shah says when shell companies open accounts here, bankers need to understand who really owns, controls and profits from the money. “One of the problems that was highlighted in the Panama Papers was that often officials named in executive positions or in managerial positions for anonymous companies are figureheads. They don’t actually control the entity.” Read More.
The Panama Papers have shone a stark light on how facilitators create anonymous companies that can enable the corrupt, money launderers and other criminals to hide and launder their illicit funds. While Panama has made an effort to adopt legislation to avoid illicit use of its financial sector in recent years, what the country now urgently needs is aggressive enforcement of existing laws. Yet this scandal is not just about Panama. Secret companies are a global issue; they need to be outlawed throughout the Americas and all around the world. Read more
Contributor: Natalie Baharav, Communication Coordinator for the Americas, Transparency International
TI-USA Shruti Shah states, regarding UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain automatically sharing tax information, that “It is a great first step but a lot more work needs to be done; there is one player missing from the list that is the US; and this also shows that the UK needs to do more work in its own backyard and tackle overseas territories. Information on who truly owns these companies in these overseas territories also needs to be available.” Read More.
“As of now, U.S. financial institutions, while they’re required to do customer due diligence, they’re not really required to determine and verify the true beneficial owner of their corporate clients,” said Shruti Shah, vice president of the nonprofit Transparency International – USA. “That’s a loophole.” Read More.
A large data leak called the Panama Papers recently accused a number of world leaders of hiding money in offshore bank accounts to avoid taxes. Shruti Shah explains what we know so far about the documents, and the fallout that could come from the scandal. Read More.
Dummy directors are used to hide beneficial ownership of shell companies. “Professional dummy directors pose a huge problem for law enforcement, for creditors, even for journalists,” said Shruti Shah, vice president of the U.S. chapter of Transparency International, a global anti-corruption group. “They are just frontmen. If a [shell] company does something wrong, it is impossible to track down who is responsible.” Read More.
“In every state in the US, you can incorporate an LLC – [a limited liability company] – or another legal entity and you don’t have to disclose who the beneficiary on it is. In fact, Delaware is so synonymous with anonymous companies and ghost corporations that it was named in Transparency International’s Unmask the Corrupt campaign as one of the most symbolic cases of corruption.” Read More.
“Shell companies facilitate domestic and international corruption and other crimes,” said Shruti Shah, vice president of the U.S. chapter of Transparency International, a global anti-corruption group. “Who benefits from these anonymous companies? People with something to hide.” Shah said shell companies in all jurisdictions should be required to disclose their true, or “beneficial,” owners. Read More.
The release of the so-called Panama Papers, possibly one of the largest leaks of secret intelligence ever and one that apparently reveals a vast network of financial shenanigans. .” Companies can incorporate in the U.S. without revealing sources of money. “It’s not just the Virgin Islands and Panama where kleptocrats and criminals go to launder their illicit wealth,” said Shruti Shah, vice president of Transparency’s U.S. chapter. Read More.
Companies can incorporate in the U.S. without revealing sources of money. “It’s not just the Virgin Islands and Panama where kleptocrats and criminals go to launder their illicit wealth,” said Shruti Shah, vice president of Transparency’s U.S. chapter. Read More.
Shruti Shah, a contributing editor of the FCPA Blog and the vice president for programs and operations at Transparency International-USA, said Monday, “The Panama Papers leak highlight the ease with which the global financial system can be accessed by kleptocrats and other criminals using anonymous companies.” Read More.
“The biggest issue of corruption these days is the impunity enjoyed by these corrupt public officials, and one way that we can stop this is by making it more difficult to move their money and enjoy their wealth,” Shah said. “It includes denying visas to corrupt public officials, but it also includes clamping down on these anonymous companies in the U.S. and elsewhere.” Read More.
Bipartisan legislation introduced last month would require the collection of the names of the ultimate beneficial owners of any company incorporated in the United States. The ownership information should be public to close the loophole that allows political donors to hide their identities. Read More.
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was sworn into office as chief of staff to the current president, Dilma Rousseff. This appointment grants him immunity from federal corruption prosecution as a case, of him having received luxury real estate and big speaking fees from companies involved in the Petrobras scandal, was being prepared. Shruti Shah, a contributing editor of the FCPA Blog and the vice president for programs and operations at Transparency International-USA, said Thursday: “Giving a former president a job that may provide a high level of immunity from prosecution just as a corruption investigation into his past picks up speed sends the wrong message.” Read More.
The recently published U.S. EITI report covers payments made and received in 2013. There is much valuable information in the both report and the accompanying U.S. EITI website. The Department of Interior is to be commended for publishing 100% of payments it received in 2013 from companies producing on federal lands and in federal waters (totaling approximately $12 billion), as well as state-by-state royalties for 18 resource-rich U.S. states. The report also provides detailed information on natural resource extraction governance at the federal, state, and tribal levels, statistics on the size of the extractives sector (in terms of economic output and employment), as well as a valuable assessment of the revenue sustainability in 12 resource-dependent counties. That said, there are a couple of important respects in which the report falls short.Read More.
On September 25th, the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs identify development priorities and set measurable targets for progress that are to be met by 2030. Its Goal 16 — which seeks to promote just, peaceful, and inclusive societies, includes (among other governance-related targets) significant reductions in illicit financial flows, progress on the recovery and return of stolen assets, and substantial reductions in corruption and bribery – fills the lacuna that the SDGs’ predecessor Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) had. Read More.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) unveiled new guidance to federal prosecutors about bringing criminal cases against individuals in instances of corporate wrongdoing. The memo states that if a corporation wishes to resolve its own criminal charges and receive any credit for cooperation, it must provide the DOJ with all relevant facts relating to the individuals responsible for the misconduct. Read More
Co-written by Angela McClellan, Senior Global Advocacy Coordinator at Transparency International Secretariat and editor of Can justice be achieved through settlements?