Money laundering schemes: Anonymous companies

While these reports seem to indicate a general problem with anonymous companies to the global financial system, several other findings show this is a systemic and serious problem for the U.S. financial system as well. The same World Bank report from 2012 also reported that the United States was the worst offender in the 150 grand corruption cases identified, 817 legal entities were used to facilitate the movement of money, and 102 of these were anonymous companies incorporated in the U.S. But the dangers don’t stop there. The United States registers 10 times as many legal entities than the 41 tax havens combined and has been identified in several studies as one of the easiest jurisdictions in which to open an anonymous company. In a 2018 study , the U.S. was ranked second amongst tax havens while Panama was ranked 12th. Delaware, the epicenter of company formation in the U.S., has more companies than people. In a 2019 study published by GFI, we found that in all 50 states registering for a library card required more personal information than is needed to register a company. In one library in Kentucky, bio-metric fingerprint information was required to take out a library card, whereas to register a company in the same state a person isn’t even required to provide a contact detail for the corporation upon registration.

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