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GFI Lauds EU Parliament Vote Endorsing Crackdown on Anonymous Shell Companies

European Vote Increases Pressure on White House & Congress to Move

 

Full EU Parliament Endorses Creation of Public Registries of Beneficial Ownership Information; Follows Earlier Committee Votes

 

European Council Should Endorse Move to Curb Phantom Firms in Negotiations with Parliament

 

March 11, 2014
Clark Gascoigne, +1 202 293 0740 x222

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Global Financial Integrity (GFI) praised the full European Parliament for voting today to crack down on anonymous shell companies, a major conduit for laundering the proceeds of crime, corruption, and tax evasion.


Following similar votes by two committees of the EU Parliament last month, the full legislative body voted today in favor of requiring public registries of beneficial ownership information for companies incorporated in the EU, as part of its revisions to the EU’s Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD).


“We strongly praise the vote by the European Parliament to crack down on anonymous shell companies,” said GFI President Raymond Baker, a longtime authority on financial crime.  “As our research notes, nearly $70 billion flowed illegally into or out of emerging EU economies in 2011. Anonymous shell companies are the number one tool for laundering the proceeds of crime, corruption, and tax evasion.  Creating public registries of the true, human, ‘beneficial’ owner of each company—as the Parliament endorsed today—is a common sense approach to curbing financial crime and the tremendous flow of illegal money.”


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Global Financial Integrity Welcomes Arvinn Eikeland Gadgil to its Advisory Council

February 24, 2014
Clark Gascoigne, +1 202 293 0740 x222


WASHINGTON, DC – Global Financial Integrity announced today that Arvinn Eikeland Gadgil has joined its Advisory Council. GFI, a research and advocacy organization based in Washington DC, will benefit from Mr. Gadgil’s experience working to promote economic development and curtail illicit financial flows at the highest level.


Mr. Gadgil is Director of Partnerships and Policy at the Norwegian Refugee Council in Oslo. Prior to his appointment in January 2014 he was Norway's Deputy Minister for International Development from April 2012 to December 2013. Previously, he was Political Advisor to the Minister of Development. From 2006–2007 he worked in the South Asia and Afghanistan section in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Mr. Gadgil has also been posted to Afghanistan and worked for Development Fund Norway.


Raymond Baker, President of Global Financial Integrity, said, “We could not be more pleased to welcome Arvinn Eikeland Gadgil to our advisory council. He has worked tirelessly to help developing countries build more robust, transparent economies. We look forward to receiving his guidance on how we can better craft and pursue our global agenda on curtailing illicit financial flows.”


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GFI Praises EU Parliament Panels for Voting to Crack Down on Anonymous Shell Companies

European Vote Raises Pressure on White House & Congress to Follow Suit


EU Parliament Endorses Creation of Public Registries of Beneficial Ownership Information


February 20, 2014
Clark Gascoigne, +1 202 293 0740 x222


WASHINGTON, DC – Global Financial Integrity (GFI) praised the European Parliament for voting today to crack down on anonymous shell companies, a major conduit for laundering the proceeds of crime, corruption, and tax evasion.


The European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) Committee as well as the Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee voted in favor of requiring public registries of beneficial ownership information for companies incorporated in the EU, as part of its revisions to the EU’s Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD).


“We strongly praise the vote by the European Parliament to crack down on anonymous shell companies,” said GFI President Raymond Baker, a longtime authority on financial crime.  “As our research notes, nearly $70 billion flowed illegally into or out of emerging EU economies in 2011. Anonymous shell companies are the number one tool for laundering the proceeds of crime, corruption, and tax evasion.  Creating public registries of the true, human, ‘beneficial’ owner of each company—as the Parliament endorsed today—is a common sense approach to curbing financial crime and the tremendous flow of illegal money.”


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GFI Applauds Historic OECD Announcement on Global Transparency of Financial Information

New Standard Ensures All Nations Can Potentially Benefit from Robust, Automatic Exchange of Financial Information


G20 Finance Ministers to Review Document for Approval Next Week Ahead of Australian G20 Summit in the Fall


Research and Advocacy Organization Expects New Transparency Regime to Be ‘Game-Changing’ Deterrent to Cross-Border Tax Evasion, Money Laundering


February 13 2014
Clark Gascoigne, +1 202 815 4029
EJ Fagan, +1 202 293 0740 x227


WASHINGTON, DC – Global Financial Integrity (GFI) applauded the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) today following its historic release of a new model multilateral agreement that countries will use to tackle tax evasion, money laundering, and other financial crime. GFI, a research and advocacy organization based in Washington, DC, touted this as a major victory and welcome culmination of one front in the long battle for cross-border financial transparency.


Heather Lowe, Legal Counsel and Director of Government Affairs at GFI, said of the new model agreement, “Automatic exchange of tax and financial information is essential to combating global tax evasion and money laundering. For years, the OECD recommended member-countries exchange information only upon request, a process that has proved inadequate to detect and deter cross-border financial crime. This is truly a game-changing policy shift at the highest level.”


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US$410.5bn in Illegal Money Flowed in or out of Philippines from 1960-2011, Finds New GFI Study

Philippine Economy Loses US$132.9 Billion in Illicit Financial Outflows from Crime, Corruption, Tax Evasion over 52-Year Period; US$277.6 Billion Transferred Illegally into the Philippines


Smuggling through Trade Misinvoicing Cost Philippine Taxpayers at Least US$23 Billion in Customs Revenue since 1990


25% of Value of All Goods Imported into Philippines Goes Unreported to Customs Officials


Report Launch and Press Conference at Mandarin Oriental Manila Hotel at 10am Local Time on Tuesday, February 4th


February 4, 2014
Clark Gascoigne, +1 202 815 4029
EJ Fagan, +1 202 293 0740 x227


MANILA, Philippines / WASHINGTON, DC – More than US$410 billion flowed illegally into or out of the Philippines between 1960 and 2011—reducing domestic savings, driving the underground economy, and facilitating crime and corruption—according to a new report to be published Tuesday by Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington DC-based research and advocacy organization.  Over the 52-year period studied, the report finds that the Philippines suffered US$132.9 billion in illicit financial outflows from crime, corruption, and tax evasion, while US$277.6 billion was illegally transferred into the country, predominantly through the misinvoicing of trade transactions.


The study, titled “Illicit Financial Flows to and from the Philippines: A Study in Dynamic Simulation, 1960-2011,” [HTML | PDF – 2.5MB] estimates that the misinvoicing of trade transactions has cheated the Philippine government of at least US$23 billion in lost tax revenue since 1990.


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US$68.9 Billion Flowed Illegally into or out of Emerging EU Economies in 2011

GFI Urges EU Parliament Legislators to Follow UK’s Lead, Ban Anonymous Shell Companies

 

Anonymous Shell Companies are a Major Conduit of Illegal Funds; Public Registries of Beneficial Ownership are the “Gold Standard” in Curbing Phantom Firm Abuse

 

February 3, 2014
E.J. Fagan, +1 202 293 0740 x227

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Global Financial Integrity (GFI) today urged members of the European Parliament to support the creation of public registries of corporate ownership information in the upcoming vote on key revisions to the European Union (EU) Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD). The pressure comes as GFI revealed that nearly US$70 billion in illicit financial flows—the proceeds of crime, corruption, and tax evasion—flowed into or out of developing and emerging EU member-states in 2011.

 

GFI—a Washington, DC-based research and advocacy organization that studies and promotes policies to curtail illicit financial flows—noted that the February 13th vote would be a key moment for the future of financial transparency.

 

“There is a tremendous amount of illicit capitol flowing into and out of Eastern Europe, and anonymous shell companies are one of the main reasons why,” said GFI President Raymond Baker, a respected authority on financial crime. “British Prime Minister David Cameron set a new global standard last fall when he committed the United Kingdom to creating a public registry of the true, ultimate owners of all companies in the UK. It is now time for the full European Union to decide if it will rise to that standard.”

 

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Global Financial Integrity Urges the RNC to Reject Pro-Tax Evasion Resolution

Repeal of FATCA Would Cripple U.S. Crackdown on Tax Havens & Financial Secrecy, Cost the U.S. Taxpayer Billions

 

January 23, 2014
Clark Gascoigne, +1 202 293 0740 x222

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Global Financial Integrity (GFI) urged the Republican National Committee (RNC) to reject a proposed resolution calling for the repeal of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)—the cornerstone of the U.S. effort to fight offshore tax evasion. The law, which was passed in 2010 as part of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, requires foreign banks to report deposit information on their U.S. accountholders for U.S. tax compliance, as is required of domestic U.S. banks.

 

GFI, a non-partisan research and advocacy organization dedicated to curtailing illicit financial flows, noted that repealing FATCA would deepen the U.S. budget deficit by billions of dollars.According to the Internal Revenue Service, the ongoing crackdown on offshore tax evasion—of which FATCA is an essential part—has yielded over $5 billion in new tax revenue, with at least another $5 billion expected to come.

 

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