Credo Action

Tell the Treasury Department: Investigate U.S. links in the Panama Papers

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Petition to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew:

"Exercise your full authority to investigate whether any U.S. or U.S.-linked company or person involved with Mossack Fonseca may have facilitated money laundering, terrorist financing, or other illegal activity, including with any U.S.-designated persons."

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    Tell the Treasury Department: Investigate U.S. links in the Panama Papers

    After the explosive media leak of global tax evasion in the “Panama Papers,” more than 100,000 CREDO members demanded that Congress crack down on anonymous shell companies in the U.S.

    More than 11 million documents from the secretive Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca were leaked to international journalists, and more than 140 world leaders, public officials, and major celebrities have been implicated already. The documents, spanning almost 30 years, expose how the world’s elite use fake corporations called “shell companies” to launder money, evade sanctions, hide wealth, and dodge taxes.1

    While U.S. government officials insist they are aware of the scandal, there is little indication they are taking action. But now, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Sherrod Brown are demanding that the Treasury Department investigate U.S. links in the Panama Papers, and we need to stand with them.2

    Stand with Sen. Warren and Sen. Brown: Tell the Treasury Department to investigate U.S. links in the Panama Papers.

    Already, the prime minister of Iceland has resigned after the documents revealed he had an undisclosed stake in banks that were bailed out by his government.3 Associates of high-profile world leaders such as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping are also named in the documents. France, Austria, Australia, and other nations have already announced investigations.4 Now, Sen. Warren and Sen. Brown are demanding the Treasury Department step in (emphasis ours):

    “[A]s the primary agency charged with protecting the integrity of the U.S. financial system and enforcing our laws against money laundering and terrorist financing, we strongly urge the Treasury Department to conduct its own inquiry into Mossack Fonseca's activities and its clients. [...]

    "These disturbing revelations and others reveal activity that may threaten our national security and our financial system by undermining U.S. and international laws promoting financial transparency and combating money laundering and terrorist financing. The reported involvement of U.S. or U.S.-linked institutions and individuals in what may have been efforts to enable international money laundering and tax evasion raises important questions about the susceptibility of the U.S. financial system to money laundering, terrorist financing, and other illicit enterprises. [...]

    "We strongly urge the Treasury Department to exercise its full authority to investigate whether any U.S. or U.S.-linked company or person involved with Mossack Fonseca may have facilitated money laundering, terrorist financing, or other illegal activity, including with any U.S.-designated persons.”5

    Stand with Sen. Warren and Sen. Brown: Tell the Treasury Department to investigate U.S. links in the Panama Papers.

    The Panama Papers could be one of the biggest political stories of the year. This is a crucial moment to crack down on tax evasion and nefarious schemes made possible by corporate secrecy.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    1. BBC News, “Panama Papers: Leaks spur global investigations,” BBC, April 4, 2016.
    2. Patrick Temple-West, “Warren, Brown: Treasury should probe Panama Papers scandal for U.S. links,” Politico, April 7, 2016.
    3. Camila Domonoske, “Iceland's Prime Minister Resigns Amid Panama Papers Scandal,” NPR, April 5, 2016.
    4. BBC News, “Panama Papers: Leaks spur global investigations.”
    5. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Sherrod Brown, “Letter to the Honorable Jacob Lew,” Warren.Senate.Gov, April 7, 2016.