Topple Tax Havens and Legal Shields for Billionaires

Target: Janet Yellen, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury

Goal: Regulate questionable financial practices that widen inequity and enable tax evasion, money laundering, and other criminal activity.

Close to 12 million leaked documents, known as the Pandora Papers, revealed the secret tax hideaways of 35 world leaders and over 100 billionaires from around the world. This explosive expose has already led to calls for impeachment of at least one international president. On a broader level, it reinforces how the ultra-wealthy have gamed the system for decades at the expense of ordinary people.

Offshore accounts and shell companies drew much of the attention in the massive sting operation. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalist, the worldwide collection of journalists behind the papers, also shone a spotlight closer to home. While the public might typically associate unscrupulous tax havens with tropical nations or shadowy overseas providers, some U.S. states have attracted their fair share of questionable clientele from America and abroad. Many of these powerful individuals have even been accused of crimes and human rights violations.

The mega-rich, by hook-or-crook, have found particular refuge in South Dakota, Wyoming, and Nevada thanks to secretive but entirely legal systems. South Dakota alone is estimated to be the home of 460-plus billion dollars flooding in from over 50 countries. The assets in these trusts are shielded from creditors and from taxation.

Unlike most countries in the world, the United States has no money laundering watchdogs for the “non-traditional” financial institutions popular in these states. Sign the petition below to demand a leveling of the playing field for all Americans.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Yellen,

Shell companies, shelf companies, trust services, LLCs, registered agents: the means by which the ultra-rich hide their money from scrutiny and accountability are seemingly endless. Too many of these shelters for unsavory activity exist right in the heart of the United States. The Pandora Papers simply drove home what was a suspicion amongst average populations and an open secret within the ranks of the privileged few.

In 2016, the Financial Action Task Force shamed the United States for shunning gatekeepers and guardians that could hold these legal havens for tax evasion, money laundering, and other forms of financial crime and blood money to account. With the eyes of the world on this stunning global inequity, will the country that has harbored billions for the unethical and the downright criminal now finally take action? The Congressional Enablers Act would be a good start, but the light needs to extend further into these pockets of secrecy and darkness.

Support and work for a watchdog for “non-traditional” financial institutions…a watchdog for the people who do not have the benefit of hiding from their debts, their taxes, and their obligations.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Cottonbro


One Comment

  1. Evan Jane Kriss says:

    Time to MAKE BILLIONAIRES PAY their fair share of taxes. EVERYONE ELSE DOES.

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