May 7, 2008
Monique Perry Danziger, +1 202 293 0740 ext. 222
NEW YORK – Global Financial Integrity (GFI) director Raymond Baker addressed an audience of fortune 500 CEOs, CFOs, general counsels and directors, and federal and state policy makers Wednesday in New York City on changes in U.S. finance laws and enforcement.
“There is legislation gaining ground in the U.S. Senate that will tackle everything from money-laundering to tax haven abuse while abroad our European counterparts are pushing for similar legislative reform; overall national and international business protocols are going to undergo a facelift in the next few years,” said Baker. “It is crucial that business people stay ahead of the curve on protocol and compliance.”
Wednesday’s event was particularly timely in light of recent developments in several investigations into high-profile multinational companies for illicit financial offences.
These include: a Treasury Department probe into Wachovia Corp on alleged money-laundering charges in connection with Columbian and Mexican drug cartels, a Department of Justice investigation into corruption and a 43 billion pound ($84.1 billion) Al Yamamah arms contract to supply Tornado and Hawk Jets signed between the British and Saudi Arabian governments BAE Systems, and the issuance of a broad subpoena for the names of wealthy U.S. clients who may have used the services of Swiss banking giant UBS AG to avoid paying income taxes.
“Western businesses play a large role in facilitating illicit financial flows around the world,” said Baker. “Per annum, western business entities launder approximately $1 trillion dollars in illegal activity proceeds.”
The event, “The Flip Side of Capitalism: Are there Solutions to Money-Laundering’s Chokehold on Corporate America” will include of an invite-only dinner Tuesday night with a keynote address from Robert Morganthau.
Wednesday’s briefing seminar will cover:
- Pending U.S. legislation aimed at stopping abuse of tax havens (S. 681), curtailing money-laundering (S. 473), and amending IRS regulatory language to designate foreign controlled corporations in tax havens as domestic corporations (S 396)
- Trends and changes in enforcement of the Foreign Corruption Practices Act (FCPA)
- How western businesses may combat illicit financial practices and keep apace with international efforts to curtail illicit financial practices
“There are going to be significant changes in how the U.S. treats illicit financial crimes, enforces regulation and prosecutes offenders,” said Baker. “This briefing will convene business leaders to discuss how to navigate changes in U.S. financial policy and be strategic players in the evolving global community.”
The event is sponsored by UPS, WillmerHale, Fiserve, and GFI.