May 12, 2022

Wyden, Colleagues Urge Treasury to Swiftly Implement Corporate Transparency Act to Support Russian Sanctions

Swift implementation of legislation would upgrade anti-money laundering protections and help fully impose sanctions on Russian oligarchs

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden and Senate colleagues from both parties are calling on the Treasury Department to swiftly implement the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) and provide a timeline for doing so. Implementation of the CTA would upgrade the country’s anti-money laundering laws and help the federal government fully impose sanctions on Russian oligarchs.

“The Treasury Department has yet to finalize the implementation of the CTA—or even set a timetable for its completion… In various hearings last month, both of you could only commit to proposing the second CTA rule by the end of ‘this year.’ These delays run contrary to the clear instructions of Congress, undermine American efforts to respond to Russia’s war against Ukraine, and hinder broader efforts to protect the U.S. financial system against the threat of illicit finance,” Wyden and colleagues wrote to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Acting Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Himamauli Das. 

Passed by Congress last year, the CTA is landmark legislation that would upgrade the country’s anti-money laundering laws and address one of the biggest weaknesses in the United States’ anti-money laundering safeguards: anonymous shell companies that hide the true, beneficial owners of assets. Beneficial ownership disclosure, as required by the CTA, is particularly relevant amidst Russia’s invasion of Ukraine since such information is necessary to implement the United States’ historic sanctions against Russian oligarchs and to protect national security and the stability of the U.S. financial system. 

FinCEN has proposed only one of three planned CTA rules, and is now four months past the statutory deadline for implementation. The lawmakers acknowledged in their letter that FinCEN is working with limited resources and stated that Congress is working to remedy this problem through the appropriations process.

The bipartisan letter was led by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. Alongside Wyden, the letter was signed by U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Bill Cassidy, R-La.

The text of the letter is here.