In his recent post, Paul Caron discusses a move by the Treasury Department to track luxury home buying in an effort to reveal money laundering schemes within real estate. The investigations began in Miami and Manhattan and are now set to expand to all five boroughs of NYC, more counties in Florida, LA County, San Diego, counties around San Francisco, and the county including San Antonio. Caron begins,

More than a quarter of the all-cash luxury home purchases made using shell companies in Manhattan and Miami were flagged as suspicious in a new effort to unearth money laundering in real estate, the Treasury Department said Wednesday. As a result, officials said they would expand the program to other areas across the country.

The expansion of the effort to identify and track the people behind shell companies, begun in March, means that there will now be increased scrutiny of luxury real estate purchases made in cash in all five boroughs of New York City, counties north of Miami, Los Angeles County, San Diego County, the three counties around San Francisco and the county that includes San Antonio.

The examination, known as a geographic targeting order, is part of a broad effort by the federal government to crack down on money laundering and secretive shell companies.

The areas being added to the order are places where buyers frequently purchase luxury real estate using shell companies, the officials said. The dollar values involved purchases of more than $500,000 or more in Bexar County, which includes San Antonio; $1 million in Florida; $2 million in California; $3 million in Manhattan; and $1.5 million in the other boroughs of New York City. Title insurance companies, which are involved in virtually all real estate transactions, are charged with carrying out the order. …

Continue reading the entire story here: Federal Government To Expand Tracking Of Luxury Home Buyers To LA, San Diego, San Francisco & San Antonio

Posted by Allison Trupp, Associate Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal