Eight days after stepping down as secretary of state in 2013, Hillary Clinton set up ZFS Holdings at CTC’s offices in Wilmington. A spokesman said it was to manage her book and speaking income. Photograph: Matt Rourke/AP
by Rupert Neate in Wilmington, Delaware
There aren’t many things upon which Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump agree, especially as they court very different Delaware voters ahead of a primary on Tuesday. But the candidates for president share an affinity for the same nondescript two-storey office building in Wilmington. A building that has become famous for helping tens of thousands of companies avoid hundreds of millions of dollars in tax through the so-called “Delaware loophole”.
The receptionist at 1209 North Orange Street isn’t surprised that a journalist has turned up unannounced on a sunny weekday afternoon.
“You know I can’t speak to you,” she says. A yellow post-it note on her computer screen reads “MEDIA: Chuck Miller” with the phone number of the company’s director of corporate communications. Miller can’t answer many questions either, except to say that the company does not advise clients on their tax affairs.
The Guardian is not the first media organisation to turn up at the offices of Corporation Trust Centre, and it’s unlikely to be the last.
This squat, yellow brick office building just north of Wilmington’s rundown downtown is the registered address of more than 285,000 companies. That’s more than any other known address in the world, and 15 times more than the 18,000 registered in Ugland House, a five-storey building in the Cayman Islands that Barack Obama called “either the biggest building in the world, or the biggest tax scam on record”.