More than 2,000 Companies Hide Assets Using One Address in Wyoming

Thursday, June 30, 2011
Labeled the “little Cayman Island on the Great Plains,” a modest-looking home near the state capitol of Cheyenne, Wyoming, serves as the official address for more than 2,000 companies, including phony ones set up to hide assets from the government.
The house, located at 2710 Thomes Avenue, is owned by Wyoming Corporate Services, a business-incorporation specialist.
According to Reuters, the company helped create a shell operation for controlling the real-estate assets of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko, once ranked the eighth-most corrupt official in the world by watchdog group Transparency International. Lazarenko is now serving time in a California prison for money-laundering and extortion. 
Another client, Ira N. Rubin, allegedly used at least 18 different front companies to hide his role as a credit-card processor for telemarketing scams. He was also implicated in the processing of payments for online Internet gambling rings and pharmacy websites selling controlled substances. One other customer of Wyoming Corporate Services got into trouble for selling counterfeit truck parts to the Department of Defense.
The federal government and banking regulators say banks have flagged billions of dollars in suspicious transactions involving U.S. shell companies in recent years. Wyoming Corporate Services lists more than 700 companies for sale on its website and according to Gerald Pitts, its founder and president, he doesn't know anything about how clients use the companies he registers.
                                                                                                 –Ken Broder, Noel Brinkerhoff
How Two Shell Companies Duped the Pentagon (by Brian Glow and Kelly Carr, Reuters)


Leave a comment