Sayonara shell companies: US cracks down on “dirty money” property sales
American authorities are taking on secretive transactions on property in the USA and cash buyers for the first time in history. On January 13, 2016, the United States Treasury Department announced the forthcoming obligation for U.S. title insurance companies to “identify the natural persons behind companies used to pay ‘all cash’ for
The Treasury Department hopes to tackle money laundering by forcing title companies to disclose the names of individuals behind opaque business structures.
“We are seeking to understand the risk that corrupt foreign officials, or transnational criminals, may be using premium U.S. real estate to secretly invest millions in dirty money,” said Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery, as reported by the Treasury Department’s press release.
This comes after
The arrival en masse of Chinese investors, who replaced Canadians as leading buyers in the Land of Freedom, brought billions into hot urban markets in the United States, particularly Manhattan, where their aggressive purchasing tactics sparked rumours of a new “China price”.
Their investors spent just under $30 billion over
The move by FinCEN should not be a surprise for industry stakeholders however as more newspapers broached the subject. The rise in media coverage is also credited with attracting the attention of the US Treasury Department, particularly the “Towers of Secrecy: Piercing Shell Companies” by the New York Times.
However, the decision comes too late to catch the mysterious buyer of a $47 million mansion
Leigh Stewart, Tranio