Dan "Mediactive" Gillmor sez, "Looks like corporations (i.e. the people who control them) have more rights to privacy in America than regular citizens. This terrific investigative piece by Reuters (co-reported by one of my colleagues at Arizona State University) exposes yet another dirty secret of corporate America's power over federal and state governments. They don't need to go to the Caymans and other such havens to create nearly impenetrable secrecy. They can do it right here at home by using pathetically weak state laws -- plainly weak by design -- to hide sometimes sleazy doings. It's yet another example of the way the deck has been stacked by corporate America in its own favor."
A Reuters investigation has found the house at 2710 Thomes Avenue serves as a little Cayman Island on the Great Plains. It is the headquarters for Wyoming Corporate Services, a business-incorporation specialist that establishes firms which can be used as "shell" companies, paper entities able to hide assets.Special Report: A little house of secrets on the Great Plains (Thanks, Dan!)
Wyoming Corporate Services will help clients create a company, and more: set up a bank account for it; add a lawyer as a corporate director to invoke attorney-client privilege; even appoint stand-in directors and officers as high as CEO. Among its offerings is a variety of shell known as a "shelf" company, which comes with years of regulatory filings behind it, lending a greater feeling of solidity.
"A corporation is a legal person created by state statute that can be used as a fall guy, a servant, a good friend or a decoy," the company's website boasts. "A person you control... yet cannot be held accountable for its actions. Imagine the possibilities!"
Among the entities registered at 2710 Thomes, Reuters found, is a shelf company sheltering real-estate assets controlled by a jailed former prime minister of Ukraine, according to allegations made by a political rival in a federal court in California.