Behind the Corporate Veil

Using Corporate Entities for Illicit Purposes

Corporate entities underpin most commercial and entrepreneurial activities in market-based economies and have contributed immensely to growing prosperity worldwide over recent decades. Increasingly, however, governments and regulatory bodies have realised that corporate entities ranging from corporations and trusts to foundations and partnerships are often misused for money laundering, bribery and corruption, shielding assets from creditors, tax evasion, self-dealing, market fraud, and other illicit activities.

Prepared against this background, the OECD report Behind the Corporate Veil: Using Corporate Entities for Illicit Purposes opens ways to prevent and combat the misuse of corporate entities. The report shows that the types of corporate entities misused most frequently are those that provide the greatest degree of anonymity to their beneficial owners. With that in mind, the report offers governments and other relevant authorities a menu of policy options for obtaining information on the beneficial ownership and control of corporate entities in order to combat their misuse for illicit purposes.

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