The Panama Papers revealed how a secretive Panamanian law firm used professional intermediaries in the United States to enable crime and corruption. Half a decade later, the United States is failing to regulate the U.S.-based professionals who continue to enable national security threats by handling dirty money through secret channels. It’s time to regulate the enablers.

The United States is among less than 10% of countries that do not require non-bank professionals to establish anti-money laundering programs, meaning that the enablers who move and hide the proceeds of corruption don’t have to look for it, leaving the door wide open for abuse by kleptocrats and oligarchs working to undermine U.S. democracy. Fortunately, this could change soon if the White House, Treasury, and Congress roll out a sweeping regulatory program, starting at the Summit for Democracy in December.

In a new report, Regulating the EnablersAlliance for Securing Democracy Malign Finance Fellow Josh Rudolph explains how the United States should prioritize imposing rules on up to 10 groups of professionals who can endanger national security by handling dirty money. In order of priority, the professions in need of regulation are:

  1. Private equity and hedge funds
  2. Real estate title insurers
  3. Art dealers
  4. Lawyers
  5. Trust and company service providers
  6. Accountants
  7. Covert PR and marketing firms
  8. Real estate agents
  9. Sellers of yachts and planes
  10. Crypto and other money services businesses

Read the report here:

Please reach out to if you’re interested in speaking to Josh.