Press release | Oct. 30, 2017

Manafort criminal charges raises questions of who President Trump associates with

Today’s indictments of senior officials from the Trump campaign in the investigation into allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election may shine a light on the use of anonymously-owned companies to launder money, said Global Witness today.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates stand accused of conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy against the US, among other charges. 

“This alarming news raises broader questions about who President Trump associates with - it may be just the tip of the iceberg. That’s why the work by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to uncover potential wrongdoing that threatens U.S. interests should continue unimpeded. Global Witness has repeatedly shown how secret companies have been used as vehicles to cover up illicit activities such as corruption, terrorism and money-laundering. We must stop the tools of our financial system being used to advance the personal interests of a powerful few over the rest of us,” said Stefanie Ostfeld, Deputy Head of the US office.

Congress should act quickly to address this problem by passing bipartisan legislation requiring all US companies to disclose their real owners when they are formed and to keep that information up to date.