24 entities named in Panama Papers registered in Wyoming

On the morning of Monday, April 4th, Secretary of State Ed Murray and his office became aware of the release of the so-called “Panama Papers” alleging that the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca aided wealthy individuals internationally with hiding assets in shell companies across the globe, Murray's office stated in a news release this afternoon. In response to the serious allegations stemming from the “Panama Papers,” auditors from the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office immediately performed an audit of M.F. Corporate Services Wyoming LLC, which serves as a registered agent for Mossack Fonseca in the State of Wyoming. Of the 214,488 entities mentioned in the leaked Panama Papers, 24 were found to be registered in Wyoming as Limited Liability Companies (LLCs). The audit concluded around noon on Monday, April 4th, and determined that M.F. Corporate Services Wyoming LLC failed to maintain the required statutory information for performing the duties of a registered agent under Wyoming law. (W.S. 17-28-107) The Secretary of State’s Office immediately took administrative action demanding that the required information be provided. Subsequently, M.F. Corporate Services did provide the information. For the purpose of maintaining a high standard of due diligence and in order to report any possible illicit activity, Secretary Murray also briefed law enforcement on developments later that same day. The investigation of this matter is ongoing. Secretary Murray pointed out that “shell companies often serve an important use for potential startups and are a well established means of doing of business in Wyoming and in any other state.” Wyoming, alongside Delaware and Nevada, have been the most proactive in directly confronting those same concerns related to improper use of shell companies. Commenting on his office’s history combating fraud, Secretary Murray stated that “since 2009 we have actively sought to combat fraud by fully and directly addressing the underlying issues that were raised at the national level. Subsequent legislative changes have radically altered the way that businesses are registered in Wyoming. My office continues to do everything it can under current statutes to combat illicit activities while maintaining Wyoming’s competitive business environment.” Murray went on to list the many reasons why companies would choose to register in Wyoming, such as the low tax burden, no individual income tax, and low LLC filing fees. Murray said he would oppose any "one-size fits all federal law mandating the dissolving of privacy protections." #bootstrapped #shortgo #news