United States

USA Number One…. in money laundering

Money laundering is rampant in the real estate industry

Today’s Wall St. Journal carries an article that once more raises the issue of money laundering, but unintentionally. An LLC called Flannery Associates has purchased $1 billion worth of land around a US air force base in California. Local officials say that this rural land cannot really be used for farming because it is so dry. The purchase may be entirely for investment for profit, but the key things are this: 

From this Wall St. Journal article:

Flannery’s statement that it is U.S.-owned can’t be confirmed or denied by federal agencies at this time, a congressional aide said….

The black is the air force base

County supervisor Mitch Mashburn said if Flannery intends to develop the land, it would make sense for the group to engage with local officials—but it hasn’t….The majority of the land they’re purchasing is dry farmland,” he said. “I don’t see where that land can turn a profit to make it worth almost a billion dollars in investment.”

In a recent federal court filing, Flannery Associates said it is a wholly owned subsidiary of Flannery Holdings, a limited liability company registered in Delaware. LLCs registered in Delaware don’t have to publicly disclose the identity of their owners.

Use of LLCs to purchase land is a common practice. Nearly one in five homes were purchased by investors in early 2023, including LLCs and other corporate entities, according to data compiled by real-estate firm Redfin of more than 40 of the largest U.S. metro areas.”

LLC’s are also used to purchase commercial real estate. This is a perfect set up for money laundering. I recently saw an article on how the real estate industry dominates local/municipal politics. I know that’s certainly true in Oakland. The real estate industry also is thoroughly integrated into professional sports, which is a huge industry in the US. This is why the US is the greatest target for offshoring of capital from other countries.

Yes, we’re Number One!

Note: for a more in depth understanding of the extent of money laundering in the US, see this review of Casey Michel’s book American Kleptocracy. Also see this article on Trump the money launderer in chief.

Money laundering is rampant in the real estate industry

Categories: United States

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