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ACTION: Anonymous and deadly

There are many reasons why we should ban the practice of anonymous shell companies -- companies formed with no way of knowing who is in charge.

But here's one of the most compelling: They're being used to shield illegal opioid dealers. Most businesses have nothing to hide, but if you do have something to hide, it's easy: You just set up an anonymous shell company -- which in America, requires less personal information than it takes to get a library card.

Since they're anonymous, shell companies are a favorite tool to hide all sorts of unsavory behaviors, from terrorism and drug cartels to tax dodging.

And our latest report "Anonymity Overdose," connects opioid trafficking with the activities of anonymous shell companies.

According to the CDC, opioid deaths in 2014 exceeded those from motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. They even refer to the opioid crisis as an epidemic.

It's clear we need to do more to solve this problem.

You can help to show our elected officials overwhelming support of this bipartisan bill, the Transparency and Law Enforcement Assistance Act. If passed, law enforcement would have access to clear information about who owns the company and be able to hold them to the same rules as the rest of us.

The opioid crisis is taking an increasing toll on the nation, and this is one more reason we need to take action and end the use of anonymous shell companies.

Send a message to your represenatives: Anonymous shell companies help drug cartels and opioid trafficking. Help put a stop to this dangerous practice.