Post by Logan on May 9, 2016 18:09:33 GMT -6
Top state and federal leaders are backing President Barack Obama's push to give law enforcement officials access to more information about secretive shell companies and offshore accounts in the wake of the so-called Panama Papers global scandal. Delaware also has been criticized for having few requirements for businesses seeking to incorporate, which generates millions of dollars in fees for the state.
The Obama administration has announced plans to crack down on tax evaders, financial crime and money laundering in light of the scandal, in which leaked documents of the Panama City-based Mossack Fonseca revealed how wealthy people and officials from around the world mask their identities by using shell companies, shielding assets and avoiding taxes.
The release has prompted international calls for reforms, and Obama wants Congress to increase transparency. "Given our prominence in this area, we have a responsibility to be leaders in addressing the legitimate concerns that are raised, particularly by law enforcement," said Jeff Bullock, who as secretary of state oversees Delaware's incorporation system.
While those documents concern activity in Panama, many experts and advocates say similar activity is almost certainly happening on a massive scale in the U.S., which allows the owners of shell companies to largely stay in the shadows. Delaware has been called a tax haven in several national and international news stories, an accusation state leaders vigorously deny.
Read more: www.delawareonline.com/story/news/2016/05/09/shell-companies-obama/84132894/