The Puppet Masters: How the Corrupt Use Legal Structures to Hide Stolen Assets and What to Do About It

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Title The Puppet Masters: How the Corrupt Use Legal Structures to Hide Stolen Assets and What to Do About It
Author Willebois, Emile van der Does de; Halter, Emily M.; Harrison, Robert A.; Park, Ji Won; Sharman, Jason Campbell
Year Published 2011
Place of publication United States
Publisher World Bank
Abstract Billions in corrupt assets, complex money trails, strings of shell companies and other spurious legal structures. These form the complex web of subterfuge in corruption cases, behind which hides the benefi cial owner—the puppet master and benefi ciary of it all. Linking the benefi cial owner to the proceeds of corruption is notoriously hard. With sizable wealth and resources on their side, they exploit transnational constructions that are hard to penetrate and stay aggressively ahead of the game. Nearly all cases of grand corruption have one thing in common. They rely on corporate vehicles — legal structures such as companies, foundations, and trusts—to conceal ownership and control of tainted assets. The Puppet Masters: How the Corrupt Use Legal Structures to Hide Stolen Assets and What to Do About It takes these corporate vehicles as its angle of investigation. It builds upon cases, interviews with investigators, corporate registries and fi nancial institutions, as well as a “mystery shopping” exercise that provide factual evidence of a criminal practice. This approach is used to understand the nature of the problem and design policy recommendations to facilitate the investigative process by unraveling the complex world of corporate vehicles. This report is solidly built on step-by-step arguments and designed to deliver practical, applicable, and well substantiated recommendations. It is intended for use by policy makers in developing national legislation and regulation as well as international standard setters. It also provides helpful information for practitioners engaged in investigating corrupt offi cials and academics involved in the study of fi nancial crime.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://www.worldbank.org/
ISBN 9780821388945
Date Accessioned 2011-11-29; 2012-02-28T04:31:01Z
Research Centre Centre for Governance and Public Policy
Faculty Griffith Business School
Subject Political Science
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/43103
Publication Type Books (Authored Research)
Publication Type Code a1

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