In the last five years, an estimated $2 billion dollars of illicit funds have been laundered through the U.S. real estate market. A criminal enterprise this pervasive requires enhanced regulation and accountability to dismantle it.
To detect, disrupt and deter money laundering through real estate, Congress should pass the ENABLERS Act. The ENABLERS Act will require beneficial ownership disclosure and proof of funds for large real estate purchases. It aims to close the real estate money laundering loophole and rid the U.S. real estate market of illicit funds.
According to the legislation, any person or entity owning or having managerial control over valuable real estate assets should be required to provide personally identifiable information to real estate agencies. The ENABLERS Act will eliminate deceptive practices allowing criminals to hide in plain sight.
Information sharing also plays a large role in the dismantling of money laundering schemes. The ENABLERS Act plans to establish and foster relationships between law enforcement and real estate agencies, helping them to better understand a wide variety of criminal threats.
The legislation will also require the disclosure of funding sources to mitigate money laundering. Offenders will no longer be able to quietly slip their illicit funds directly into our economy.
Many anti-money laundering best practices and protocols already exist. The real estate market does not have to reinvent the wheel, only get up to speed with current guidelines. Real estate agencies already need to prove their clients can pay. They can also prove their clients’ funds are clean.
By enforcing these measures, Americans can trust their landlords to build thriving communities, markets will be strengthened, and financial fraud will be reduced.