The Real Deal Miami

Sen. Rubio wants to thwart real estate-targeted money laundering

The proposal would require shell companies to disclose their owners of purchased homes priced at $300k or more in cash
July 31, 2018 01:30PM

Senator Marco Rubio (Credit: iStock)

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio is seeking more transparency of shell companies’ purchases of U.S. real estate in an attempt to thwart money laundering.

Rubio is proposing an amendment in an unrelated spending bill that would require shell companies across the country to disclose their owners for real estate purchases of more than $300,000 or more in cash, according to the Miami Herald.

Currently, the law only targets certain areas of the country, but Rubio’s new proposal will seek to apply these requirements nationwide. The amendment would also lower the price at which the U.S. Treasury looks at all cash transactions of real estate from $1 million to $300,000.

The bill would give the U.S. Treasury 180 days to submit a study to Congress that would provide more details about the data that has been collected by the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). It would also ask FinCEN if a registry of company owners would help authorities combat money laundering, tax evasion, election fraud, and other illegal activities.

A vote on the bill is planned for this week, according to the Miami Herald.

The bill comes after a federal prosecutors charged eight people last Wednesday in an alleged scheme to launder more than $1 billion embezzled from the Venezuelan state-owned oil company. Prosecutors allege a Porsche Design Tower unit in Sunny Isles was tied to the scheme. [Miami Herald] — Keith Larsen