NEW YORK – On December 11, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), author of the Corporate Transparency Act, joined with Greek-American George Venizelos, Retired Assistant Director, NY Division of FBI to speak to the importance of the bill to counterterrorism operations and applaud the bill’s inclusion in the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2021 at 650 5th Avenue – a building that had unknowingly been owned by Iran.
The Corporate Transparency Act would require companies to disclose their true, beneficial owners at the time the company is formed to prevent bad actors from using anonymous shell companies to thwart law enforcement and hide their illicit activities.
“The U.S. is one of the easiest places in the world to set up anonymous shell companies, because no state in the U.S. currently requires companies to disclose their true, beneficial owners,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “The Corporate Transparency Act will finally crack down on anonymous shell companies, which have become the vehicle of choice for terrorist financing, money laundering, and organized crime. When a terrorist cell wants to move their money, or a criminal syndicate wants to launder money, they usually do it right here in the U.S., with a shell company. So, the same terrorist groups that want to attack the U.S. are also using our own financial system to finance those attacks! This is how kleptocrats and criminals are able to routinely park their money in luxury real estate here in New York — just like Iran parked their money 650 5th Avenue. When kleptocrats and criminals pour their money into real estate in New York, that limits the availability of housing, and drives up housing costs for ordinary New Yorkers. So, not only will the Corporate Transparency Act make our country safer, but it will also lower housing costs for New Yorkers. This bill is long overdue and I’m proud to say it is finally on the verge of being signed into law.”
Congresswoman Maloney first introduced legislation to combat anonymous shell companies in 2009, then named the Incorporation Transparency and Law Enforcement Assistance Act, and has introduced a version of the bill in every subsequent Congress. The Congresswoman introduced H.R. 2513, the Corporate Transparency Act of 2019, on May 3, 2019. It was passed by the House of Representatives with a bipartisan vote of 249-173 on October 22, 2019 and subsequently included in the House’s NDAA for FY21, which was passed this summer. The bill is included in the Conference Report of the FY2021 NDAA, which passed the House on Wednesday and is expected to pass the Senate this coming week.