For example, I am a criminal and police is looking for anything tied to my name, so I use someone that I trust to put everything in his/her name, so this person would be legally responsible for it, but I am the who actually owns and commands it. What is the word used to describe this person who lends his/her name?

  • Front man is used for organizations
    – Unrelated
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 16:21

4 Answers 4


This is a Straw man:

a person set up to serve as a cover for a usually questionable transaction



If that's what I'm thinking, I believe we call "stooge". Ex: The ex-governor is the real owner of the company, and Ferreira is his stooge

  • A stooge is a subordinate, I dont think that anything about ownership is implied
    – Stefan
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 14:52

I see. In Brazilian Portuguese we call it "o laranja". The only expression I found out for this in English it was "stooge". o Laranjas are people whose names are used by others in the practice of various fraudulent schemes to avoid paying taxes, or to launder illicit funds. Poor, innocent people are frequently used for this, but others are not so naïve and willingly allow their names to be used for dishonest purposes. Maybe I'm understanding wrong


In Indian English, the most popular term would be:

Benami (adj.) — M-W

(adj.) made, held, done, or transacted in the name of (another person) —used in Hindu law to designate a transaction, contract, or property that is made or held under a name that is fictitious or is that of a third party who holds as ostensible owner for the principal or beneficial owner.

See: Benami deals, Benami transactions, Benami properties, etc.

Benamdar (n) — Business Standard

The person on whose name the property has been purchased is called the benamdar and the property so purchased is called the benami property. The person who finances the deal is the real owner.

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