Late yesterday, FinCEN revised its real estate Geographic Targeting Order (GTO). This version requires the filing of a FinCEN Form 8300 within 30 days when:
A Legal Entity (as defined in Section III.A of this Order);
Purchases residential real property:
- For a total purchase price of $500,000 or more in the Texas county of Bexar;
- For a total purchase price of $1,000,000 or more in the Florida county of Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach;
- For a total purchase price of $1,500,000 or more in the Borough of Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, or Staten Island in New York City, New York;
- For a total purchase price of $2,000,000 or more in the California county of San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Mateo, or Santa Clara;
- For a total purchase price of $3,000,000 or more in the Borough of Manhattan in New York City, New York; or
- For a total purchase price of $3,000,000 or more in the City and County of Honolulu in Hawaii; and
- Such purchase is made without a bank loan or other similar form of external financing; and
- Such purchase is made, at least in part, using currency or a cashier’s check, a certified check, a traveler’s check, a personal check, a business check, or a money order in any form, or a funds transfer.
The idea being that FinCEN is concerned that legal entities are being used as cover for criminals to launder their proceeds by placing their money in real estate which can then be withdrawn at a later date and appear unaffiliated with the predicate crime.
In addition, FinCEN issued an advisory for financial services firms and real estate agents and firms to highlight the danger of real estate being abused for money laundering.