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U.S. Treasury Wants a Registry to Crack Down on Shell Companies

  • Plan aimed at unmasking anonymous businesses hiding ownership
  • Proposal would establish database for use by law enforcement
Photographer: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg

The U.S. Treasury Department has proposed a federal registry in an effort to close loopholes that have enabled terrorists, criminals and corrupt government officials to launder illicit cash through so-called shell companies.

When the proposal is finalized, businesses in the U.S. will have to file basic information to Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, including the identities of companies’ “beneficial owners,” according to documents released Tuesday.