U.S. Anti-Money-Laundering Chief Calls for Beneficial Ownership Registry

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A lack of information about who owns and controls businesses incorporated in the U.S. is creating a “dangerous and widening gap” in the country’s national security apparatus, the director of Treasury’s anti-money-laundering watchdog said.

“Criminals thrive when they have somewhere to hide,” Kenneth Blanco, the head of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, said Tuesday at a conference on financial crime enforcement hosted by the American Bankers Association and the American Bar Association. “And the secrecy behind shell companies—businesses that exist only on paper—is a clear and present danger.”