Financial Crimes Enforcement Network Orders Title Companies to Identify Cash Buyers

Geographic targeting orders take aim at real estate secrecy in Manhattan and Miami

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

stack of 100 dollar bills(January 14, 2016) – The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued Geographic Targeting Orders (GTO) to require certain title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind companies used to pay all cash for high-end residential real estate in the Borough of Manhattan in New York City, New York, and Miami-Dade County, Florida. FinCEN is concerned that all-cash purchases might be conducted by individuals trying to hide their assets and identity by buying residential properties through limited liability companies (LLCs)or other opaque structures. To collect information about this potential money laundering vulnerability, FinCEN is requiring certain title insurance companies to identify and report the true “beneficial owner” behind a legal entity involved in these types of real estate transactions.

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About Jeff Sorg

Jeff Sorg is a co-founder of OnlineEd®, an online real estate, mortgage broker, and vocational school founded in 1997, where he also serves as Chief Executive Officer, and School Director. Sorg holds vocational and post-secondary school instructor licenses in several states and has authored numerous real estate continuing education and pre-licensing courses and has been awarded the International Distance Education Certification Center's CDEi Designation for distance education. Memberships include ARELLO (Association of Real Estate License Law Officials), the National Association of REALTORS®, Oregon Association of REALTORS®, and Portland Metro Association of REALTORS®. Awards and service include REALTOR® Emeritus in the National Association, Life Member award in Portland Metro Association and Chairperson of the Oregon Real Estate Forms Committee. OnlineEd® provides real estate, mortgage broker, insurance, and contractor pre-license, post-license, continuing education, career enhancement, and professional development and designation courses over the Internet.