Wake up and smell the dirty money.
That’s the message federal regulators are sending to the real estate industry in Miami and other high-priced housing markets.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Treasury Department announced it would extend and expand a temporary initiative designed to uncover criminals laundering money through real estate. The decree targets secretive shell companies — corporations that don’t have to reveal their true owners — buying luxury homes. The feds have already renewed the rules twice since announcing them in January 2016.
But this time, there’s a big difference — and it’s putting Miami’s struggling condo market under even more scrutiny.
The rules, previously so limited in scope that they applied only to a few hundred deals, will now cover every big-ticket cash transaction by shell companies in seven major markets. They are the South Florida counties of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach; all