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Press Release

Alaska Attorney General Urges Senate to Pass Law to Fight Shell Companies

June 30, 2020

(Anchorage, AK) — Alaska Attorney General Kevin G. Clarkson signed a bipartisan letter with 42 attorneys general urging the U.S. Senate to pass S. 2563, the Improving Laundering Laws and Increasing Comprehensive Information Tracking of Criminal Activity in Shell Holdings (ILLICIT CASH) Act. The letter was sent to Sen. Mike Crapo, Chairman, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, Ranking Member, of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. The ILLICIT CASH Act updates the federal framework for fighting money laundering and terrorism financing, which has not been comprehensively reassessed since the 1970s, and creates new tools for information sharing between financial institutions and law enforcement. The Act also requires a covered entity to report its "beneficial owners," the actual people who benefit from or control the entity.  

Attorney General Clarkson says, "States need better tools to track information on the actual people who control or benefit from corporations and other entities doing business within their borders. Without that information, states like Alaska cannot know if an entity is a shell for concealing the illicit proceeds of drug traffickers, terrorist financiers, tax evaders, or corrupt government officials."

Under the ILLICIT CASH Act, certain business entities will have to disclose a "beneficial owner" to the federal government. A beneficial owner is a “natural person” who controls an entity, owns at least 25% of it, or receives economic benefits from it. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Department of Treasury (FinCEN) will keep the disclosed beneficial ownership information in a federal registry. The Act requires FinCEN to release beneficial ownership information to law enforcement agencies, including local and state levels.

The letter was signed by attorneys general in: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, N. Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

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Department Media Contact:Assistant Attorney General Maria Bahr at (907) 269-5285 or maria.bahr@alaska.gov.