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At the end of 2011, a company called Isaias 21 Property paid nearly $3 million — in cash — for an oceanfront Bal Harbour condo.
“There may be legitimate reasons to be non-transparent, but it’s also what criminals want to do.” The temporary initiative also applies to Manhattan and expires in August.“No one wants to kill the goose that laid the golden egg,” Mc Cabe said. Others in the real-estate industry, including Realtors, are also exempt.Law firms like Mossack Fonseca and their Miami partners operate in a shadow economy, largely free from the “know-your-customer” rules imposed on U. The corrupt know they can park their cash here with few questions asked.In an email, Mossack Fonseca spokesman Carlos Sousa defended its business practices: “Our firm, like many firms, provides worldwide registered agent services for our professional clients (e.g., lawyers, banks, and trusts) who are intermediaries.As a registered agent we merely help incorporate companies, and before we agree to work with a client in any way, we conduct a thorough due-diligence process, one that in every case meets and quite often exceeds all relevant local rules, regulations and standards to which we and others are bound.” Mossack Fonseca also said that its Brazilian office was a franchise, and that the Panama law firm, which practices only in Panama, “is being erroneously implicated in issues for which it has no responsibility.” You can read MF’s full response on Miami And a recent case of money laundering involving fancy condos and the violent Spanish drug gang Los Miami drew further scrutiny to South Florida.
Jack Mc Cabe, an analyst who studies the booming local housing market, said it’s impossible to know how many homes are purchased with dirty money.
Regis, an ultra-luxury high-rise that pampers residents with 24-hour room service and a private butler.
In public records, Isaias 21 listed its headquarters as a Miami Beach law office and its manager as Mateus 5 International Holding, an offshore company registered in the British Virgin Islands, where company owners don’t have to reveal their names. That’s because the Miami Herald, in association with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, has obtained a massive trove of confidential files from inside a secretive Panamanian law firm called Mossack Fonseca.
In late 2009, Octávio was serving as the vice governor of the capital state of Brasília when federal police filmed his boss, the governor, accepting a thick stack of bills. Other tapes caught their associates stuffing pockets, bags and even their socks with cash. In Miami, secretive buyers often purchase expensive homes using opaque legal entities such as offshore companies, trusts and limited liability corporations.
Offshore companies are legal as long as the companies declare their assets and pay taxes. Treasury Department is so concerned about criminals laundering dirty money through Miami-Dade County real estate that in March it started tracking the kind of transaction most vulnerable to manipulation: shell companies buying homes for at least $1 million using cash.
In Brazil, prosecutors claim Mossack Fonseca created offshore companies that allowed officials of the state oil company to collect and hide bribes.