US Bills Target Shell Firms, Foreign Funds Linked to Illegal Campaign Finance

By Valentina Pasquali and Daniel Bethencourt

Compliance scrutiny on cross-border transactions that may conceal illegal contributions by foreign nationals to U.S. political campaigns, candidates and causes would further increase under a pair of recent bills, say sources. On May 23, a group of three Democratic and two Republican senators pitched legislation that would mandate criminal penalties against persons who help form corporations, limited liability companies and other legal entities subsequently used to enable illegal political spending in the United States. The Shell Company Abuse Act, sponsored by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Charles Grassley (R-IA), prescribes maximum 5-year jail terms and fines against any “owner, officer,...