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The Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020

Overriding a political, non-policy, veto by then-President Donald Trump…. on January 1, 2021 the United States Senate voted 81-13 overriding the veto and passing the ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING ACT OF 2020.

The Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 is a long overdue expansion of the policies, programs and effective police powers created by the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970. Similarly the USA Patriot Act of 2001 and its 56 sections is modified and expanded. The new 2020 statute is a powerful tool for US Federal prosecutors across the United States. Locally in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach the regional office of the US Attorney now has new powers to go after money laundering from countries such as Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela stemming the flow of cash into the Miami high rise real estate market.

High end real estate in New York City, Manhattan, Miami and West Palm Beach is highly leveraged by infusions of untraceable funds, money-laundered funds, to purchase high end apartments in Miami and now Fort Lauderdale. In addition to the world of Art, high end real estate construction in Southern Florida is and are driven by infusions of investment capital from Russia and the US’s neighbors in South and Central America.

Effective in 2021 the major “new” powers include:

  • Expanding funding for the US Attorney’s Offices in Miami and West Palm Beach to subpoena records from non-US foreign based banks that DO NOT have branches or corresponding bank operations in Miami and South Florida.
  • Expanding the powers of the US Patriot Act. Soon the US Attorney’s Office in Miami can reach deeper into transactions handled by corresponding banks in South Florida and force information about the owner of interest in these transactions.
  • Expands White Collar Crime investigations by broadening the scope of records that can be obtained from non-US banks with non-US originating funds from South and Central America nations such as Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Panama and Colombia.
  • FinCen will, starting in 2021 publish “threat patterns” and trends of money-laundering money by expanding SAR filings.
  • A “new” US Treasury program will during an initial three year “pilot” program share and study SAR reports filed by foreign branches of banks with corresponding banks in Miami, West Palm, Fort Lauderdale as well as New York.
  • The US Treasury Department and the Department of Justice will begin a new reporting program making public money-laundering parties and persons throughout the US with a focus on the hottest real estate markets of Miami and Manhattan New York.
  • The Bank Secrecy Act will provide to prosecutors in focus-markets in Miami and New York City where SAR (Suspicious Activity Reports) now required of non-US banks.
  • The Director of FinCen will be mandated to publish threat pattens of money-laundered funds arriving in Miami and South Florida which will enable the local United Staes Attorney in Miami to begin money-laundering prosecutions in US Federal Courts.
  • Now, for the first time, banking and money handlers will be the focus of FInCen suspicsious activity investigations and reports: bringing to light funds and money moved into the United States where the origin of the funds is obscured and there are steps taken to move money into financial investments in Art, Real Estate and banking.
  • Money Laundering and Terrorist list persons moving money into the United States banking system in New York and South Florida will be under increased scrutiny. The additional FinCen and US Treasury reporting will also be supplemented with funding for anti-money laundering task forces and Grand Juries in areas under heightened scrutiny such as Miami, Manhattan real estate, Art purchases in New York and Miami, as well as the South Florida (Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach) jurisdictional areas of the US Attorney’s Office of South Florida and Central Florida (Orlando).
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