August 4 2016
Over the last 15 years, opioid overdose deaths have quadrupled, and opioid abuse has become a full-blown crisis.2 As lawmakers, law enforcement and other public officials struggle to address this problem, we can make it easier to go after the money used in drug trafficking by ending the gaps in our laws that allow companies to be incorporated anonymously. Drug money is laundered with astonishing effectiveness. The Office of National Drug Control Policy estimates that $65 billion is spent by Americans every year on illegal drugs, but only $1 billion, or roughly 1.5%, of that money is seized per year domestically by all federal agencies combined. 3 In other words, it is likely that 98.5% of the proceeds derived from drug trafficking remain in the hands of traffickers. One of the tools that criminals use to launder their money so successfully are shell companies, especially anonymous shell companies.