Using data analytics to distinguish legitimate and illegitimate shell companies

Adrian Gepp, Milind Tiwari, Kuldeep Kumar

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePresentation onlypeer-review


Shell companies can be a legitimate entity but can also been used for illicit activities like money laundering. Users of shell companies have included illegal arms dealers, drug cartels, terrorists and cyber-criminals, as well as legitimate businesspeople. To assist in distinguishing between legitimate and illegitimate uses of shell companies, we develop a data-driven model to detect shell companies that are being used for money laundering. We use a hybrid approach combining graph analytics and supervised learning. The resulting detection models have an impressive classification accuracy ranging between 88.17% and 97.85%. We found no prior study that develops such models to detect illicit shell companies using publicly available information as done with our models. Beneficiaries of this work include government officials and compliance professionals, particularly accountants, tax officials and anti-corruption agencies.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023
Event43rd EBES Conference - Madrid - Universidad Complutense Madrid and online, Madrid, Spain
Duration: 12 Apr 202314 Apr 2023 (Program)


Conference43rd EBES Conference - Madrid
OtherWe have successfully organized our forty-third conference on April 12-14, 2023. The conference was organized with the support of the Istanbul Economic Research Association in hybrid mode with both online and in-person presentation at the Faculty of Economics and Business, Universidad Complutense Madrid in Madrid, Spain.

We are honored to have received top-tier papers from distinguished scholars from all over the world. We regret that we were unable to accept more papers. In the conference, 189 papers by 399 colleagues from 53 countries were presented. We, EBES, would like to thank all of the conference participants and invited speakers for their contribution to the conference.
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