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US poised to overhaul the country’s anti-money laundering legislation

The United States looks set to overhaul the country’s anti-money-laundering legislation, after widely-supported provisions were officially included in a must-pass annual defense spending bill on Thursday.

The reforms, based on proposals by bipartisan groups of lawmakers from both the Senate and the House of Representatives, would mandate that companies in the U.S. report their ultimate owners to the Treasury Department, effectively ending fully anonymous shell companies.

... “Experts routinely rank anonymous shell companies — where the true, ‘beneficial’ owners are unknown — as the biggest weakness in our anti-money laundering safeguards,” said FACT Coalition executive director Ian Gary...“It’s the single most important change Congress could make to better protect our financial system from abuse.”... [A]dvocacy group Transparency International said “outdated” laws in the U.S. made it easy for corrupt politicians, terrorists and criminals from around the world to gain a foothold in the U.S. financial system.