The organisation of corruption in commercial enterprise: concealing (and revealing) the beneficial ownership of assets

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The assets that are necessary for and derive from corruption are often held in or transmitted through legal business structures and mechanisms, in what are termed generically “corporate vehicles”. These are “legal entities through which a wide variety of commercial activities are conducted and assets are held”, including corporations, trusts, and partnerships with limited liability characteristics (OECD, 2001: 12-13; FATF, 2006: 3). Corporate vehicles represent a critical component of contemporary economies, and are used to create and structure businesses, as well as being used for personal wealth management and investment purposes. They share features like separate legal personality by constituting legal entities separate from members or shareholders, and they often have limited liability characteristics in that partners or shareholders are liable only for their investment and their personal assets will not be reachable by the entity’s creditors. In most instances, corporate vehicles are used legally, but they can also be relied on to prevent the seizure or taxation of assets, to launder money and to conceal the proceeds or payments from bribery, due to the very qualities that make them valuable in legitimate contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCorruption in Commercial Enterprise
Subtitle of host publicationLaw, Theory and Practice
EditorsLiz Campbell, Nicholas Lord
Place of PublicationAbingdon UK
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781351602228, 9781351602211, 9781351602204
ISBN (Print)9781138063341
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes

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