The real estate sector's vulnerabilities to money laundering and corruption extend beyond simple schemes to use illicit funds when purchasing property. In many cases, the third parties involved in such deals pose risks too, according to Amanda Raad, a partner at Boston-based Ropes & Gray International LLP. Within some jurisdictions, obtaining the requisite safety certifications or other permits can prompt solicitations for bribe payments-a risk that is exacerbated by the fact that the purchase and management of real estate is often handled by multiple parties, she said. For such reasons, banks and other parties may need to get specific assurances...
Federal cases against attorneys, accountants and other professionals suspected of washing illicit proceeds have risen by roughly 30 percent in the year since the FBI began actively targeting third-party facilitators, according to the head of the bureau's money laundering unit.
U.S. officials on Wednesday ordered title insurance firms to disclose high-value cash purchases of real estate in California, Texas, Florida and New York as part of an effort to identify money laundering.
The U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday directed title insurance firms involved in real estate transactions to collect data on the beneficial owners of companies acquiring luxury properties in Manhattan and Miami with cash.
Lax enforcement of Canada's anti-money laundering laws and regulations have helped make British Columbian property an attractive investment for criminals, according to Kenneth Marsh, a former investigator of organized crime for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The Financial Action Task Force called notaries and registrars "the weakest link" in efforts to limit real estate laundering, in part, because some jurisdictions have yet to enforce AML requirements for those professionals.
Marc Hambach, an assistant director of the Dubai Financial Services Authority and head of its AML department, spoke with reporter Brian Orsak about the process of developing regulations for one of the fast growing financial hubs in the world.