The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network announced yesterday that it will temporarily require certain U.S. title insurance companies in target areas to identify the individuals behind companies used to conduct high-end, all-cash real estate transactions. FinCEN issued the Geographic Targeting Orders for the borough of Manhattan in New York City and for Miami-Dade County, Fla.
FinCEN identified all-cash real estate transactions as an area particularly vulnerable to money laundering, as individuals may use shell companies to purchase high-value properties. Since title insurers typically play a central role in real estate transactions, FinCEN will require the companies to record and report the “beneficial ownership” information of entities making these purchases without external financing. The GTOs are effective from March 1 to Aug. 27, 2016.