Explosion in Real Estate Laundering a Big Risk for Banks, Experts Say

By Brian Monroe

Criminals will increasingly turn to real estate deals to commit fraud and launder their illegally obtained cash as long as the industry continues to operate free of anti-money laundering regulations and without uniform agent licensing rules, banking analysts and regulators say. Mortgage fraud and the associated money laundering pose significant risks to banks, said Andrew Sandler, a partner with the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Washington, D.C. In processing loans, banks become unwitting accomplices in schemes to defraud their institutions and homeowners of billions of dollars a year, Sandler said Monday at a money laundering...