This "Asset Search News Roundup" highlights shell companies which can be used to conceal bankruptcy estate, marital, probate or other assets. As "Bank Melli Accused Of Hiding Its Fifth Avenue Assets" mentions, the asset forfeiture case against New York’s ASSA CORP. is perhaps a good example of a domestic shell company suspected of concealing assets via money laundering.
According to the article "New Wyoming business laws aimed at fighting fraud", Wyoming is trying to prevent such criminal misuse of its shell companies. The article mentions among other things, that Wyoming has made filing false company information a felony punishable up to two years in prison. The article additionally states that, (according to Wyoming’s Secretary of State Max Maxfield), Wyoming could now be a less attractive venue for some criminals.
Foreign shell companies are however, also commonly used to hide assets. A Department of Justice press release and / or Boston Globe article explain that stolen paintings had been concealed through the Panamanian shell company Erie International Trading Co. Retired Massachusetts attorney Robert Mardirosian had used Erie International Trading Co., offshore lawyers and a Swiss bank, to hide Paul Cezanne’s Bouilloire et Fruits for twenty years. Furthermore, he had hidden another six stolen paintings for thirty years the very same way.
Copyright 2009 Fred L. Abrams