ABSTRACT

Money Laundering in the U.S. Real Estate Sector [Updated January 4, 2022]   [open pdf - 536KB]

From the Document: "Money laundering and other financial crimes in the real estate sector take many forms and continue to challenge real estate, financial institution, law enforcement, policymaker, and regulatory stakeholders. Global scrutiny of the real estate market's vulnerability to money laundering has grown in recent years. An issue Congress may consider is how to balance the money-laundering risks posed by the real estate sector against differing views on how to implement appropriate oversight. According to various sources, real estate money-laundering (REML) schemes can involve a wide range of domestic and transnational criminals, including drug cartels and human traffickers, international terrorists, and foreign kleptocrats (corrupt high-level officials). The purchase of real estate, often combined with methods to conceal a purchaser's identity and source of funds, can allow criminals to integrate ill-gotten proceeds into the legal economy or park illicit wealth abroad. Although real estate transactions often intersect with financial institutions that are subject to anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) requirements, AML/CFT gaps remain. The U.S. Department of the Treasury's 2020 'National Strategy to Counter Illicit Finance' states that 'Treasury is committed to working with Congress to minimize the risks of the laundering of illicit proceeds through real estate purchases'--and identifies REML as among its top 12 AML priorities and supporting actions."

Report Number:
CRS In Focus, IF11967
Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2022-01-04
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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