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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

FinCEN revises GTOs to expand coverage to 12 metropolitan areas, lower reporting threshold, and include virtual currencies

Agency Rule-Making & Guidance Financial Crimes FinCEN GTO Anti-Money Laundering

Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

On November 15, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) reissued a revised Geographic Targeting Order (GTO), which requires U.S. title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind shell companies that pay “all cash” (i.e., the transaction does not involve external financing) for high-end residential real estate in 12 major metropolitan areas. Notably, the purchase amount threshold for the beneficial ownership reporting requirement—which previously varied by city—is now set at $300,000 for residential real estate purchased in the 12 covered areas. In addition, FinCEN requires title insurance companies to report covered purchases made using virtual currencies. FinCEN states that the reissued GTO “will further assist in tracking illicit funds and other criminal or illicit activity, as well as inform FinCEN’s future regulatory efforts in this sector.”

The revised GTO takes effect November 17, and covers certain counties within the following areas: Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle.

Visit here for additional InfoBytes coverage on FinCEN GTOs.