Today the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Establishing New Authorities for Businesses Laundering and Enabling Risks to Security (“ENABLERS”) Act as part of the House’s version of the annual defense bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023.
The ENABLERS Act would require professional service providers who serve as key gatekeepers to the U.S. financial system—including certain lawyers and accountants, investment advisers, and people who form or register companies or trusts—to adopt anti-money laundering (“AML”) procedures that can help detect, flag, and prevent the laundering of corrupt and other dirty money into the U.S.
Scott Greytak, Director of Advocacy for Transparency International U.S. (“TI U.S.”), said the following on the passage of the ENABLERS Act:
Cracking down on American enablers of global corruption is a national security priority of the highest order. Fortunately, Republicans and Democrats have united behind the ENABLERS Act, which is the single most important anticorruption measure the United States Congress can adopt right now to prevent corrupt Russian officials and future kleptocrats from hiding and growing their dirty money in the United States.
Corrupt Russian leaders have financed their military aggression and authoritarian system of government by stealing from their people and investing that money abroad, including in the United States. Too often, this theft has involved the complicity of professional middlemen in the U.S. who fail to perform simple background checks on their clients. One such middleman, for example, formed a company in Delaware that reportedly owns a $15-million mansion in Washington, D.C. that’s linked to a close ally of Vladimir Putin.
The U.S. Senate must quickly follow the bipartisan leadership of the House of Representatives by including the ENABLERS Act in its version of the defense bill. We would like to particularly thank Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA), Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), Maria Salazar (R-FL), Joe Wilson (R-SC), and Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) for their leadership on this critical reform.
Transparency International U.S. is part of the world’s largest coalition against corruption. In collaboration with national chapters in more than 100 countries, we are leading the fight to turn our vision of a world free from corruption into reality.
- Read the text of the ENABLERS Act here;
- Read a TI U.S. factsheet on the ENABLERS Act here;
- Read TI U.S.’s written testimony before the U.S. Helsinki Commission highlighting the ENABLERS Act here;
- Read the U.S. Government’s Strategy on Countering Corruption which commits the Administration to “consider[ing] additional authorities to cover key gatekeepers, working with the Congress as necessary to secure additional authorities” here.
Scott Greytak, Director of Advocacy, Transparency International U.S.
Telephone: +1 614-668-0258