The Treasury Department’s announcement Tuesday that it yet again extended a program to thwart money laundering by Russians and other foreigners through luxury U.S. real estate raises the question: Why isn’t it permanent?
McClatchy reported exclusively that Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, known as FinCEN, had continued and expanded, to include Honolulu city and county, a previous Geographic Targeting Order that was set to expire.
The Tuesday extension is timely since Special Counsel Robert Mueller, tapped to probe possible collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump’s campaign in last year’s election, reportedly is looking at purchases of Trump-branded properties, which often happen through shell companies.
The order, first announced in January 2016 and now extended three times, is designed to combat the use of limited liability companies, particularly those in offshore tax havens, to launder illicit proceeds in pricey U.S. real estate.
The Geographic Targeting Order requires