(303)-974-5610

financial forensic report 8.30.2021

THE FRAUDULENT FLOW OF

FOREIGN WEALTH

The United States is known as the land of the free, and this is hardly more apparent than in the freedom with which vast sums of money flow into the country. Foreign wealth has found a comfortable home in the elite real estate of America’s biggest financial center: New York City.
 

That doesn’t sound so bad until you find out that many of the owners of these luxury Manhattan condos are actually shell corporations. Basically, shell corporations are facilitators of transactions that in and of themselves don’t participate in any significant business operations. They’re popular because they can hide the true identities of the property owners.
 Their popularity is growing, as is apparent in one real estate complex in which last year, more than 80 percent of owners were shell companies. And who are the true owners? Often, it’s super-rich foreigners looking to discreetly park ill-gotten money. Corruption, ties to organized crime, regulatory violations, and financial fraud are the ties that bind these foreigners who choose to invest in U.S. real estate. The wealthy international elite is taking advantage of the fact that the United States doesn’t really require a lot of  vetting  before  allowing  untraceable money through shell companies to purchase high-end estate on U.S. soil. 

Actually finding out who really owns a condo is frequently a Herculean task. It involves a search through business and court records, interviews with any cooperation. People who could be connected to the mysterious owner, examinations of property  records,  and  looking  into  possible  associations  with lawyers and relatives. 

In fact, because purchasers of real estate can register shell companies in the names of relatives, attorneys, accountants, or groups of investors, it can  be practically impossible to nail down with certainty who the owners are. What’s more, ownership in shell companies can shift without notice or indication in property records, so even if you do track down an owner; it’s not always apparent if this is the one were looking for. 

Elite attorneys and real estate agents are less than helpful. As long as a buyer has the money, signs the contract, and pays with no contingency, the deal will close. It’s gotten to the point where total privacy is expected, so contacting attorneys  associated  with  mysterious  real  estate  buyers  don’t  get  much cooperation. 

Even more worrisome is the fact that officials are addicted to this influx of capital from outside the country. Foreign investors who want to keep their assets anonymous have been flooding the high-end real estate market. Thinking about it from the perspective of city officials, how easy is it to turn away all that money, even if a lot of it is illegally obtained? Calls for greater transparency from shell companies have consistently failed.

One New York luxury real estate development isn’t just opaque metaphorically -t’s also opaque in a literal sense. The complex has dark glass that obscures the people living within, and there’s no indication of the residents’ identities inside or out. The condos are referred to as cryptic numbers like 52B, and reportedly, only about a third of the units are occupied at any given time. Many of the wealthy owners don’t live in the U.S. full time and count these condos as a second or third home.

The reason for the secrecy is rarely good. One buyer had ties to organized crime, while another was under investigation for owning  a  company  that was polluting the environment. In all cases, the foreign rich are increasingly keeping their money tucked away snugly in an expensive piece of real estate that’s largely shielded from public scrutiny through shell corporations.

Ironically, the U.S. government has been trying to crack down on foreign countries that serve as destinations for offshore funds to avoid domestic taxes, but until our own laws start requiring greater transparency in shell corporations and high-end real estate transactions, the United States will continue to be a haven for corrupt, illicit, and fraudulent foreign funds.
 

Part of the reason our country thrives is because it attracts immense talent and investment from all  over  the  world.  While we naturally want to encourage more of the world’s resources to come to our shores, this effort can go too far. Officials in big shining cities like New York practically beg for foreign investment. In fact, New York offers tax breaks for condominium developments that represent a second or even third residence for ultra-wealthy buyers

The ultra-wealthy tend to use shell companies to purchase and hold ownership in  elite real estate. If you look at the situation closely, you’ll start to see that New York actually courts these types of individuals through favorable tax treatment while turning a blind eye to where the money comes from. 

It’s true  that  many  wealthy  owners  are  simply  celebrities  or successful professionals like doctors, lawyers, and entrepreneurs, but there are also dozens of ultra-wealthy foreign investors who take full advantage of the lack of oversight in these high-ticket transactions. 

One elite building in particular is home to at least 17 billionaires from Forbes’ annual list of the world’s richest people. The tower originally had 26 percent of its sales go to people from other countries, but that number has recently jumped to more than 50 percent. The whole scheme seems designed to help these  individuals shield  their  identities from  the  public record,  to  the point where the owners can choose someone else’s name to list for them to get access to their own building. 

Many deeds are now signed by a representative, signed illegibly, or even left  blank.  The  registered  phone  numbers  are  under  the  owners’  lawyers’  names.  The  tax  statements  are  addressed  to  their  companies  rather  than to themselves. Even the transaction itself is designed to keep names out of it — because these deals are done in cash, there’s no mortgage statement or other public document to identify the true owner. 

Privacy has become so important in these types of deals that high-end real estate agents and lawyers may actually go through an entire transaction without  ever  knowing  the  actual  identity  of  the  buyer.  This  trend  toward  opacity in high-end real estate deals is already the status quo, with many brokers insisting that commitment to anonymity is the only way to actually  get these types of clients. 

Part of the reason for this change is that newer luxury towers are condo developments, rather than cooperative boards where each resident jointly owns the building. In co-op boards, there’s bound to be extreme scrutiny to make sure you don’t let in the wrong person; for condo developments, each resident is wholly responsible for their own unit, so it’s a lot less relevant who your neighbors are. What’s more, the condo board requires residents to chip in and buy a unit if the board rejects a buyer, which creates further incentive for them to let in anyone with the financial capacity to buy. 

As much as high-end brokers and city officials love the influx of foreign funds, they may not be so happy to learn where the money comes from in these deals. 

The New York Times  successfully tracked down the elusive owners of some of these shell corporations, and what they found was pretty horrific. 

One owner was accused of using a commercial loan for personal expenditures, and another faced a fraud investigation involving an estimated 30,000 victims whom he profited from. One business magnate based in India moved money into the United States that he earned from industrial activities that harmed more than a hundred indigenous families — not to mention the employees who beat up residents and essentially held them as prisoners.

These stories will continue until something changes. Due to limited transparency and an unquenchable thirst for foreign investment, the United States has cemented its role as a safe haven for ill-earned wealth by shady members of the international ultra-rich community. It’s up to us to decide if we want this to be America’s legacy. 

_______________________________________________________________

ANNOUNCEMENT 

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY 

Financial Forensic Services, LLC

HAS MOVED HEADQUARTERS

from Conifer, Colorado 

to

3809 S. GENERAL BRUCE DR,
STE 103-343
TEMPLE, TEXAS 76501 



Until new phones are installed
Please Call

JOE DICKERSON, CEO
via cell
303.875.4165

THE COMPANY WILL CONTINUE TO OPERATE THE FOLLOWING OFFICES:

HOUSTON, TEXAS,  METRO OFFICE
DENVER, COLORADO, METRO OFFICE
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA METRO OFFICE

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

YOU CAN GET BACK WHAT YOU’VE LOST,
OR SOMETHING EVEN BETTER. 

Turn to God for strength to deal with your problem. God has a recovery plan for you. 

If you could’ve solved the problem by yourself, you’d already have done it. 

Acknowledging that you’re powerless isn’t the same thing as giving into hopelessness. 


“Pursue, for you will surely overtake them
and without fail recover all.”
– 1Sa 30:8 NKJV


David went after the enemy and kept attacking until he recovered everything that had been stolen from him. 

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

Diagnostic & Prescriptive Judgment Enforcement
By: Joe H. Dickerson, CFE

$24.95 + FREE S&H

Please place your book orders by calling
303.974.5610
during normal business hours Mon-Fri 9am-5pm CDT.
or email joe@financialforensicservices.comand make an appointment
for a FREE initial review of your judgment. Thank you!

Copyright © 2021 Financial Forensic Services, All rights reserved.

As Seen In

Financial Forensic Services, LLC is proud to staff Certified Fraud Examiners

Testimonial

” I was prepared to dismiss a federal case involving millions of dollars against a local individual who claimed to have no substantial assets. After your staff hit the records and delved into the transactions behind the transactions, you discovered the individual to actually be worth a few million dollars. We continued the case to conclusion. We were also very happy with the financial background examinations you conducted of the former directors of two failed national banks. The heart of any civil case is whether there is a pot at the end of the lawsuit. You were our lucky leprechaun in finding such pots.”

R. Michael Sentel
, Former Section Chief Legal Division, FDIC

2014-11-11T18:13:08+00:00

R. Michael Sentel
, Former Section Chief Legal Division, FDIC

” I was prepared to dismiss a federal case involving millions of dollars against a local individual who claimed to have no substantial assets. After your staff hit the records and delved into the transactions behind the transactions, you discovered the individual to actually be worth a few million dollars. We continued the case to conclusion. We were also very happy with the financial background examinations you conducted of the former directors of two failed national banks. The heart of any civil case is whether there is a pot at the end of the lawsuit. You were our lucky leprechaun in finding such pots.”

“Joe Dickerson is the industry standard. You can measure the rest by what he does, and I say that without equivocation. Joe has incredible insight into the dark world of fraud. He understands the devious ways in which people perpetrate white-collar crime.”

Jan Schlichtman
, Attorney at Law

2014-11-11T18:20:55+00:00

Jan Schlichtman
, Attorney at Law

“Joe Dickerson is the industry standard. You can measure the rest by what he does, and I say that without equivocation. Joe has incredible insight into the dark world of fraud. He understands the devious ways in which people perpetrate white-collar crime.”

“When I was general counsel for First Interstate Bank, I used Joe Dickerson for locating assets, investigating behavior and asset discovery. He did excellent work and always got the information I needed without compromising the bank in any way. He’s more thorough and kept in better touch with me than other investigators. I’d give him a grade of 96 or 97 out of 100.”

Frank Brainerd, Retired
Banker/Attorney

2014-11-11T18:20:20+00:00

Frank Brainerd, Retired
Banker/Attorney

“When I was general counsel for First Interstate Bank, I used Joe Dickerson for locating assets, investigating behavior and asset discovery. He did excellent work and always got the information I needed without compromising the bank in any way. He’s more thorough and kept in better touch with me than other investigators. I’d give him a grade of 96 or 97 out of 100.”

“Financial Forensic Services did an excellent job in the way they executed my case. They were very straightforward. They stated what they could do for us and they did it. And, from a personal standpoint, they are excellent. Both my wife and I felt very comfortable working with them.”

Michael Whalen, 
Businessman

2014-11-11T18:21:13+00:00

Michael Whalen, 
Businessman

“Financial Forensic Services did an excellent job in the way they executed my case. They were very straightforward. They stated what they could do for us and they did it. And, from a personal standpoint, they are excellent. Both my wife and I felt very comfortable working with them.”

“They went overboard in providing excellent service. I was very pleased with what they provided for me as their end product. Financial Forensic Services really understands how a case needs to be put together in order to be presented to a jury. Their PowerPoint presentation tied everything together. It was thorough, it was concise, and it got the job done.”

Jim Thomas
, Prosecuting Attorney

2014-11-11T18:21:32+00:00

Jim Thomas
, Prosecuting Attorney

“They went overboard in providing excellent service. I was very pleased with what they provided for me as their end product. Financial Forensic Services really understands how a case needs to be put together in order to be presented to a jury. Their PowerPoint presentation tied everything together. It was thorough, it was concise, and it got the job done.”

“As an environmental law firm, we use Joe Dickerson to locate prior business owners and do corporate genealogies. He is persistent, that’s the key to a good investigator, and he has a knack for understanding how people move money and do business. That tells him what rocks to look under. Joe is vastly superior to other investigators in two ways: he lets you know what’s going on and he’s honest with you, because he tells you if there’s really anything there worth pursuing. He is unusually thorough and creative finding people. Joe has earned his fee every time.” “If the information is to be found, then I believe that they will find it. Their service enabled me to do a much better job for my client.”

Tim Gabelhouse
, Attorney at Law

2014-11-11T18:20:41+00:00

Tim Gabelhouse
, Attorney at Law

“As an environmental law firm, we use Joe Dickerson to locate prior business owners and do corporate genealogies. He is persistent, that’s the key to a good investigator, and he has a knack for understanding how people move money and do business. That tells him what rocks to look under. Joe is vastly superior to other investigators in two ways: he lets you know what’s going on and he’s honest with you, because he tells you if there’s really anything there worth pursuing. He is unusually thorough and creative finding people. Joe has earned his fee every time.” “If the information is to be found, then I believe that they will find it. Their service enabled me to do a much better job for my client.”

“Joe spends the time to understand the problem from the client’s perspective and from the legal perspective. He is intelligent, tenacious, willing to work as hard as it takes, thorough, well-informed, and just awfully good at what he does.”

Thomas E. Root, 
Attorney

2014-11-11T18:20:05+00:00

Thomas E. Root, 
Attorney

“Joe spends the time to understand the problem from the client’s perspective and from the legal perspective. He is intelligent, tenacious, willing to work as hard as it takes, thorough, well-informed, and just awfully good at what he does.”

“Joe is the most competent investigator I’ve ever found. He has rare ability to find hidden assets. Others claim it, Joe has it. He understands the Rules of Evidence, he knows how to talk to people to develop a fact pattern, and he has a sixth sense for fraud. Joe has unquestioned integrity and delivers value for his services.”

Andrew Quiat
, Attorney

2014-11-11T18:12:51+00:00

Andrew Quiat
, Attorney

“Joe is the most competent investigator I’ve ever found. He has rare ability to find hidden assets. Others claim it, Joe has it. He understands the Rules of Evidence, he knows how to talk to people to develop a fact pattern, and he has a sixth sense for fraud. Joe has unquestioned integrity and delivers value for his services.”