Lawmakers Clinch Deal on Decade-Long Fight Against Shell Companies

The most sweeping overhaul of financial crime safeguards in decades is poised to be attached to must-pass defense legislation in the coming weeks — a product of behind-the-scenes negotiations between lawmakers and Trump administration officials who are usually at odds.

The legislation, hammered out by progressive Democrats, conservative Republicans and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, would require millions of business entities to reveal their owners to the federal government in an attempt to deter the use of anonymous shell companies by criminals evading anti-money laundering rules.

The deal, which was negotiated by a group including House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Senate Banking Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), follows years of lobbying by transparency advocates who were able to convince big banks and other business groups to join the cause.

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