Wyoming and Nevada lawmakers will consider legislation early in 2017 to tighten rules that have allowed foreigners to incorporate in their states and hide assets.
An investigation in 2016 exposed that several U.S. states, including Delaware, allow non-U.S. residents to create shell companies that shield their identities and money.
There are legitimate reasons for seeking the anonymity a shell company provides, but these business entities can and do hide stolen money, drug profits and offshore government corruption.
Reporting by McClatchy, as part of a collaborative team of journalists across the globe, showed how Wyoming’s laws allowed companies opened by foreigners to list a contact who had nothing to do with these companies. The loophole made it impossible to determine the true owner.
Wyoming’s legislature meets soon and lawmakers will consider a bill supported by Secretary of State Ed Murray to change who qualifies as a communications contact for companies incorporating