January 15, 2016
For the first time, the federal government is requiring real estate and title firms to disclose names behind shell companies that buy and sell properties with cash. The U.S. Treasury Department will begin tracking secret buyers that acquire high-end real estate with cash. The goal is to stop the use of luxury real estate for money laundering activities.
Real estate buyers and sellers in the U.S. commonly use shell companies. Additionally, foreign buyers form such companies as safe havens for their money.
One Treasury official noted, however, that multimillion-dollar homes were being used to hide illegal money transactions. The initiative will launch in Manhattan and Miami-Dade County, two of the nation’s major destinations for global wealth.