CARSON CITY — Corporate entities registered in Nevada and the formation agents and registered agents representing those entities will be the focus of the new Corporate Ownership Fraud Task Force that was announced recently by Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller. The task force will investigate registered Nevada business entities that are suspected of being involved in illegal activities, including tax evasion, money laundering, securities violations and the marketing of shell or shelf companies for fraudulent and/or deceptive purposes.
Miller has appointed former criminal prosecutor Tera Ames as his special liaison to the task force, which also will include Special Agent in Charge Paul Camacho from the Internal Revenue Service, and John P. Kelleher, chief deputy attorney general of the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Justice Fraud Division. The task force will use shared resources and information to target possible criminal activity.
“We have a unique law in Nevada which allows us to demand a list of beneficial owners of any entity registered in Nevada that is suspected of illegal activities,” Miller said. “We plan to use that law aggressively, which is why I’ve brought in a criminal prosecutor to be my liaison to the task force. Contrary to some criticism relating to Nevada, we have not seen much evidence of Nevada’s business statutes either enabling criminal activity or posing a barrier to criminal investigations. In the very rare instances when we’ve been contacted by law enforcement, our statutes have given us the opportunity to provide them with information and be a resource rather than an obstacle. But we have in fact seen some individuals and entities falsely promoting Nevada as a safe haven for criminal activity. Some of these marketing campaigns are promoting illegal activity and we intend to work through the task force to bring them to justice.”