Warren releases plan to crack down on shell companies, 'dark money' flow

2020 Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren introduced a plan Tuesday to fight shell companies and "dark money" flow.

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The Massachusetts senator's announcement centered on the 2016 Panama Papers, which revealed the corruption of foreign political leaders across the globe and called for better regulation of government officials and law enforcement who use legal loopholes to their advantage.

"To truly root out corruption, we must also tackle the flow of dark money around the world," Warren's plan reads. "That’s why today, I’m introducing my plan to fight global financial corruption by reforming our global financial system, cracking down on shady practices by the ultra-wealthy and preventing corruption at home and abroad."

Under her proposal to "fight global corruption," the U.S. government would require American business owners to disclose their names in order to register their entities. Companies would also have to disclose global business and real estate transactions, including spending on U.S. political endeavors.

"The combination of beneficial ownership reforms and more cross-border transaction reporting will force more opaque jurisdictions to improve their practices, raising global standards," her plan states.

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The proposal also notes that the money collected by shell companies is sometimes used to support terrorism, drug trafficking, tax avoidance and other criminal activity. Warren says she would work with Congress to help law enforcement identify and take down money laundering schemes.

Warren then took a swipe at President Trump in her proposal, saying he has spent his entire career promoting "shady deals."

"Trump has repeatedly partnered with shady actors on real estate deals that reek of money launderingcorruption, and fraud," the plan reads. "More than one-fifth of all Trump’s U.S. condo sales since the 1980s have been all-cash transactions with shell companies -- red flags that often indicate money laundering. At one of Trump’s towers in Florida, more than 60 percent of its units are owned by shell companies."

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"And it doesn’t stop with real estate -- over half of Trump’s more than 500 companies are registered in Delaware, taking advantage of state loopholes that exempt LLCs from publishing their financial information or disclosing their ownership structure," it continues.

More than 50 percent of publicly traded companies in the U.S. and more than 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. are registered in Delaware, according to the Delaware Division of Corporations.

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The Trump administration has an opportunity to pass similar legislation called the ILLICIT CASH Act introduced by Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) on Sept. 26, which aims to "improve laws relating to money laundering" and require certain ownership disclosures, before Warren gets a chance to implement her plan.

She also incorporated her Ultra-Millionaire Tax policy proposal -- which would place an annual 2 percent tax on every dollar made by a household with an income of $50 million or more and a 6 percent tax on every dollar made by a household making $1 billion annually -- into the anti-dark money plan.

"My Ultra-Millionaire Tax is specifically designed to reduce opportunities for avoidance and evasion, imposing a minimum mandatory audit rate for the wealthiest taxpayers and a hefty 'exit tax' if extremely wealthy American citizens try to avoid the tax by renouncing their American citizenship," the plan reads.

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