Statements
June 23, 2022

Bipartisan Bill to Crack Down on American Enablers of Global Corruption Included in Defense Bill

A statement from Transparency International U.S.
June 23, 2022


Yesterday the House Armed Services Committee voted to include the Establishing New Authorities for Businesses Laundering and Enabling Risks to Security (“ENABLERS”) Act in the House version of the annual defense bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023.

The ENABLERS Act would require professional service providers who serve as key gatekeepers to the U.S. financial system to adopt anti-money laundering (“AML”) procedures that can help detect, flag, and prevent the laundering of corrupt and other criminal funds into the United States.  

Scott Greytak, Director of Advocacy for Transparency International U.S. (“TI U.S.”), said the following on the inclusion of the ENABLERS Act in the defense bill:

Corrupt Russian leaders have financed their campaigns of military aggression and authoritarianism by stealing money from their people and investing that money abroad. Too often, this theft has involved the complicity of professional middlemen in the United States who fail to perform simple background checks on their clients. One such middleman formed a company in Delaware that reportedly owns a $15-million mansion in Washington, D.C., linked to a close ally of Vladimir Putin.

Cracking down on American enablers of global corruption is a national security priority of the highest order. Fortunately, Republicans and Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee have united behind the ENABLERS Act, the single most important anticorruption measure the United States Congress can adopt right now to prevent corrupt Russian officials and future kleptocrats from hiding and growing their dirty money in the United States.

The full House of Representatives and the Senate must quickly follow the bipartisan leadership of the House Armed Services Committee by including the ENABLERS Act in the final version of the defense bill. We’d like to particularly thank Representatives Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), Joe Wilson (R-SC) and Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) for their leadership of this critical reform.

***

Transparency International U.S. is part of the world’s largest coalition against corruption. In collaboration with national chapters in more than 100 countries, we are leading the fight to turn our vision of a world free from corruption into reality. 

Related Resources

  • Read TI U.S.’s written testimony before the U.S. Helsinki Commission highlighting the ENABLERS Act here;
  • Read a TI U.S. fact sheet discussing legislation to crack down on those who serve as “gatekeepers” to the U.S. financial system here;
  • Read the U.S. Government’s Strategy on Countering Corruption, which commits the Administration to “consider[ing] additional authorities to cover key gatekeepers, working with the Congress as necessary to secure additional authorities,” here.

Media Contact 

Scott Greytak, Director of Advocacy, Transparency International U.S.
Telephone: +1 614-668-0258
Email: sgreytak@transparency.org
Twitter: @TransparencyUSA