On January 1, amendments to the Corporate Transparency Act will come into force in the United States.
The law should strengthen the liability of lawyers, accountants and other corporate service providers who assist individuals in laundering funds.
In 2014, an investigator posing as a representative of a corrupt foreign government met with 16 Manhattan lawyers to help move millions in suspicious money to the United States. All but one of them essentially provided a roadmap for money laundering through shell corporations. There were no regulations that explicitly required lawyers or other corporate service providers to comply with KYC. The new legislation changes this situation.
Under the Corporate Transparency Act, consultants providing legal entity formation services in the United States must report themselves to the government as “corporate applicants.” This means that corporate service providers will be forever linked in the federal database with the founders of such organizations. Violation of the requirements of the law in some cases may result in liability in the form of imprisonment for up to two years.