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Democrat Senators Call for Federal Investigation into the All-cash Real Estate Market

Friday, October 12, 2018   (0 Comments)
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https://www.respro.org/resource/resmgr/Letter_to_GAO_re_GTOs.pdfDemocrat Senators Call for Federal Investigation into the All-cash Real Estate Market

 

Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to also look into whether money laundering is taking place in U.S. real estate by targeting the all-cash real estate market. 

 

In the letter, they lay out the following series of questions:

Has the information gathered by the GTOs provided useful insight about any of the above mentioned regulatory gaps or exemptions that exist regarding the BSA and the real estate industry?

Has the information gathered by the GTOs produced other tangible benefits, and in what ways will closing the above mentioned regulatory gaps or exemptions enhance financial market integrity in the United States?

How has FinCEN used the information collected from the real estate GTOs to inform its ongoing efforts to address money laundering vulnerabilities?

Has the information gathered by the GTOs improved the ability of FinCen, DOJ, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to prevent money laundering in the real estate industry?


Based on the information it has collected from these GTOs, is FinCEN considering any regulatory changes?

Are there ways to improve upon the information gathered by the GTOs to make FinCEN more effective in the fight against money laundering?

Are there any gaps or loopholes that exist in the design of the GTO program that could be exploited by illicit actors, such as the beneficial ownership thresholds  or limiting the GTO to title insurance companies?

Are there any unintended consequences from targeting specific geographic regions while leaving other areas uncovered? The adaptive nature of illicit actors raises concerns they may shift their real estate activities from GTO areas to other regions of the United States.

Lastly, we ask that GAO identify any additional vulnerabilities and gaps in the current BSA framework, specifically as they pertain to the real estate sector, and how they might be addressed through regulatory or legislative action.

 

CLICK HERE for the letter.



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