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Report highlights shell company loophole that could be abused by foreigners who want to interfere in U.S. elections

Issue One: “Shell companies that give money to super PACs could be conduits for foreign money in the 2020 election, warns a new report published today by Issue One. Under current law, super PACs are permitted to collect contributions of unlimited amounts, but must disclose their donors. In some cases, their campaign finance disclosures list opaque shell companies as contributors. As a result, the public is left in the dark about the true identity of the sources of the money being spent to influence elections.  Issue One’s new report, entitled “Mystery Money,” explains why this is a loophole that needs to be closed so that foreigners are not able to use shell companies to pump money into U.S. elections. “Secretive shell companies provide ideal cover for foreigners wishing to evade the existing prohibition on their involvement in U.S. elections,” said Issue One Founder and CEO Nick Penniman. “The Justice Department says foreigners have already used shell companies to illegally funnel money into U.S. elections at least twice in recent years. It’s only a matter of time before this glaring loophole in our campaign finance system is more systematically abused by malicious foreign actors.” Added Issue One Executive Director Meredith McGehee: “Money laundering schemes to illegally funnel foreign money into super PACs through shell companies threaten the integrity of our political system. It is bad public policy to simply rely on a super PAC’s word that the funds they receive — especially money from mysterious donors — are not from foreign nationals. Congress needs to strengthen the law, and the Federal Election Commission needs to enhance existing transparency rules to help give the public more confidence that the law is being followed.” Issue One’s “Mystery Money” report highlights a dozen case studies that illustrate a broken campaign finance system that allows deep-pocketed donors to remain anonymous and avoid scrutiny. Among the notable super PAC contributions from obscure and opaque groups this election cycle were the following…”

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