Legislation addresses money laundering, terrorist financing

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Senate Banking Committee members recently introduced a bill designed to enhance corporate transparency while aiding law enforcement in addressing money laundering and terrorist financing.

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The Improving Laundering Laws and Increasing Comprehensive Information Tracking of Criminal Activity in Shell Holdings (ILLICIT CASH) Act would help combat illicit financial activity executed by terrorists, drug and human traffickers, and other criminals. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) joined Sens. Doug Jones (D-AL), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), John Kennedy (R-LA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and Jerry Moran (R-KS) in introducing the measure.

“Transparency is the best weapon we have against the misuse of our financial system by those who would harm the United States and our allies,” Warner said. “As bad actors use ever more sophisticated techniques, we need to make sure federal agencies have the tools they need to prevent this abuse of our financial system and protect our national security. That starts with making sure we have a full usable record of who actually owns these shell companies.”

The legislation would require shell companies to disclose their true owners to the Department of Treasury while updating decades-old anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) policies, giving Treasury and law enforcement the tools they need to fight criminal networks.

“It’s still far too easy for rogue regimes, corrupt oligarchs, human traffickers, and drug cartels to use American shell companies to launder money through the United States,” Menendez said. “Our bill gives our national security and law enforcement professionals new tools to make sure our financial system can no longer be a safe haven for illegal actors.”

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