The House of Representatives is holding hearings on legislative initiatives to deter corruption and secrecy in the global financial system. The Financial Services Subcommittee on National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy convenes a March 13th hearing on "Promoting Corporate Transparency: Examining Legislative Proposals to Detect and Deter Financial Crime."
The Congressional Hearing explores the role that shell corporations play in hiding the true owner or actual person who benefits from a business.
"Some anonymous shell companies facilitate the theft of development aid and debt relief, the exploitation of vulnerable communities and the support of corrupt regimes in the developing world," wrote Jubilee USA Director Eric LeCompte in a letter to Congress ahead of the hearing. The letter from the head of the religious development group continues, "Shell companies contribute to an estimated one trillion dollars leaving the developing world annually through tax evasion and corruption. In the United States, anonymous shell companies contribute to Medicare fraud, thefts from vulnerable communities and human trafficking."
The House Committee is reviewing a discussion draft of the "Corporate Transparency Act of 2019," which makes the real identity of the owner of a shell company available to law enforcement and financial institutions.
Additional legislative solutions are under review during the House Hearing. The hearing docket examines draft legislation on hidden illegal monies and a Bill introduced in January to expose foreign corruption, the "Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Rewards Act."
"In the US and around the world, poor people are too often exploited by financial secrecy," stated LeCompte. "Action by Congress can increase global transparency and provide resources for development."