Lakshmi Kumar and Kaisa de Bel, Global Financial Integrity on U.S. Real Estate Money Laundering

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Course Duration: 19 minutes
Course Points: 15

In this Partner Video, Lakshmi Kumar, Policy Director, Global Financial Integrity and Kaisa de Bel, Policy Analyst, Global Financial Integrity present the main highlights of the report on ‘Acres of Money Laundering: Why U.S. Real Estate is a Kleptocrat’s Dream’, which provides a comparative analysis of real estate money laundering regulations in the G7.

This report explores the world of global money laundering and demonstrates the ease with which criminals choose the U.S. real estate market as their preferred destination to hide and launder proceeds from illicit activities.

Lakshmi and Kaisa speak about the main findings of the report and their applicability across other jurisdictions. They discuss likely policy responses from the government and international agencies.

The report uncovers many interesting findings:

  • From cases reported in the last five years, over USD 2.3 billion have been laundered through the real estate sector in the U.S.
  • Real estate money laundering is a problem that spans the entire U.S., and not just the high value markets.
  • Over 80 per cent of the money that is being laundered in the U.S. through the real estate sector came from outside the U.S.
  • Over 50 per cent of the cases involved a Politically Exposed Person (PEP).
  • Almost 37 per cent of the cases involved commercial real estate.
  • The use of anonymous shell companies and complex corporate structures continues to be the number one money laundering typology.
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