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Biden Administration Plans to Counter Real Estate Corruption

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Yesterday, representatives of the Biden Administration, specifically the Treasury Department, unveiled some details on the administration’s new strategy to take on financial corruption. For years now, those who have obtained their wealth through illegal or questionable means have used the real estate market as a means of storing and laundering their funds. This method allows illegal actors to to dodge payments and taxes, among other financial crimes.

In order to counteract these methods, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, also known as “FinCEN,” is seeking to increase transparency in the market and make it much more difficult to hide funds through real estate.

“Increasing transparency in the real estate sector will curb the ability of corrupt officials and criminals to launder the proceeds of their ill-gotten gains through the U.S. real estate market,” Imamauli Das, Acting Director of FinCEN, said in a press release.

The Treasury Department is currently seeking ideas and feedback from the public on what they can do increase transparency, including what kind of real estate purchases could be considered red flags and what, if any, information needs to be retained and monitored. One such example of a concerning purchase would be one made entirely in cash, for example.

“Getting that type of input from stakeholders will allow FinCEN to propose regulations that will obtain information needed to support law enforcement and national security agencies in their efforts to target corrupt officials and criminals that exclude our real estate market,” a senior administration official told reporters.

“Corruption threatens United States national security, economic equity, global anti-poverty and development efforts, and democracy itself. But by effectively preventing and countering corruption and demonstrating the advantages of transparent and accountable governance, we can secure a critical advantage for the United States and other democracies,” President Joe Biden said on the matter back in June.

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