Feds Widen Search for Dirty Money in Miami Real Estate Market

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on October 20, 2017

Miami Real Estate MarketThe U.S. Treasury Department instituted geographic targeting orders in January 2016 that focused on all-cash purchases over $1 million in the Miami-Dade area. These rules were designed to crack down on purchases by shell companies of luxury homes, seen widely as money laundering opportunities for domestic and foreign agents. Since that time, the rules have been renewed past their expiration date twice, and expanded to even more counties, including locales in New York, Texas, California, and now Honolulu.

When Donald Trump was elected President at the close of 2016, there was speculation as to how hard he would push these rules, being a real estate developer himself, and now we are seeing even more transparency being mandated for these sales in Miami and beyond.

Since the beginning of the transparency effort in 2016, U.S. Treasury officials have examined around 240 all-cash transactions under the new rules. In Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, roughly half of those transactions were deemed suspicious. Several counties in California recorded zero suspicious transactions, and Bexar County, Texas, topped the list with 75 percent of transactions being monitored as suspicious.

Up until the latest expanded geographic targeting order, only transactions over $1 million made with cash, check or money order in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties had to be reported. The latest update included transactions made with wire transfers. The new rules took effect September 22 and expire on March 18, 2018, however, at each expiration so far, instead of expiring, the rules have renewed and only gotten tougher.

Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over a decade of experience handling Real Estate and Civil Litigation cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

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