WASHINGTON, Jan. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Luna Global Networks applauds Congress overriding the President’s veto on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY 2021. On Jan. 1, the US Senate overrode the President’s veto on the NDAA. This historic anti-corruption legislation ending anonymous companies in the United States passed by both Chambers of Congress is now law.

Illicit trade, which includes a convergence of numerous trafficking, smuggling, financial and cyber crimes, fuels a multi-trillion-dollar illegal economy globally every year. While the COVID-19 pandemic has brought economic malaise to most sectors, the illicit economy is booming. This is especially true across e-commerce marketplaces that are generating tremendous prosperity for scammers, fraudsters, kleptocrats, organized criminals, terrorists, and other threat networks. 

Fortunately, the newly-enacted law will attack a critical vulnerability of this illicit economy: anonymous shell companies. This will level the playing field for many legitimate businesses and industries across the country that get harmed, for example, by counterfeiters and online criminals. Included as part of the NDAA — which President Trump had inexplicably vetoed — is the Corporate Transparency Act, which will modernize our nation’s anti-money laundering rules and help law enforcement identify the true, or “beneficial” owner of a company at the time of its formation. Such data will help US officials fight corruption, organized crime, and terrorism. 

“Through the use of anonymous shell companies, criminals have avoided detection in ways that have financed other threats and harmed American consumers, including through the sale and trafficking of counterfeit medicines from India and China worth hundreds of millions of dollars including those used to treat breast cancer, cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other serious health conditions; knock-off parts across the Pentagon’s supply chains that have cost the US military tens of millions of dollars and put our soldiers at risk; and other contraband that finance insecurity that undermines US foreign policy and national security interests,” said David M. Luna, CEO & President of LGN.

Terrorist groups also manipulate anonymous shell companies to finance their infrastructure, operations, and campaigns of terror in the US and internationally. Oligarchs do as well, including those aligned with adversarial countries that are conducting massive cyberattacks against our government and private sector as reported in recent weeks.

Congressional leadership in overriding the president’s veto and enacting this important legislation into law helps to not only protect our businesses and keep consumers safe and healthy, but will also give our law enforcement agencies the authorities and tools needed to protect our homeland, markets, and communities against determined bad actors and threat networks. 

David M. Lunaformer US diplomat and national security official, is President and CEO of Luna Global Networks & Convergence Strategies LLC. 

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