Politically exposed Chinese foreign national pleads guilty to immigration fraud

Shilan Zhao (趙世蘭), the ex-wife of a Chinese official and a politically exposed person, has pleaded guilty to immigration fraud related to the EB5 investor visa program in the US and will serve a term of incarceration of five years. Zhao conspired with her husband, Jianjun Qiao (喬建軍), aka Feng Li, to immigrate to the [...]

Co-founder of infrastructure fund allegedly under investigation for money laundering

Kola Aluko, a Nigerian energy mogul, is allegedly under investigation for money laundering in Nigeria. Among other things, Aluko is one of the founders of Made in Africa (MiAF), a foundation for infrastructure projects across Africa which, in 2013, joined the African Development to launch the Africa50 Fund on NASDAQ, Africa’s largest infrastructure investment vehicle. It seems [...]

US extends GTOs for tracking money laundering in real estate

The US Treasury has announced that it is extending its Geographical Targeting Orders to identify purchasers of luxury real estate properties in six areas in the US. The GTOs require title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind shell companies used to pay all cash for high-end residential real estate. A Special Agent with the [...]

$2,000,000,000,000 in Proceeds of Corruption Removed from China and Taken to US, Australia, Canada and Netherlands

The questions and answers I’ve been asked the most in 2016 about China: Q: How much money has been removed from China in proceeds of corruption? A: According to the Bank of China, way over US$120 Billion or CAD$160 Billion between the years 1995-2008. China appears to have quit sharing data officially after 2011 because [...]

G20 adopts a “zero tolerance” against corruption and agree to close all loopholes and join forces for asset recovery of proceeds of crime on an urgent basis

The G20 agrees to cooperate over asset recovery and tracking down wanted foreign nationals implicated in financial crimes The G20 released its statement on September 5, 2016, and a large part of it indicates that the leaders of the world are becoming concerned with financial crime, including money laundering, terrorist financing and tax evasion. The [...]

FBI – “No safe haven anywhere for money launderers” – The fascinating $1B 1MDB civil asset forfeiture case

Largest civil asset recovery case in US of this kind On July 20, 2016, the US Department of Justice filed a civil forfeiture case in California to recover assets of more than $1 billion in alleged proceeds of crime resulting from fraud allegedly committed by individuals associated with the Malaysian government’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (“1MDB“). [...]

US expands review of money laundering in real estate market

More scrutiny in US for real estate The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced that it is expanding its program to identify persons who may be hiding assets in residential properties in the US. The expansion adds additional cities to what are called the area for Geographic Targeting Orders (GTO). Title insurance agents in GTO cities [...]

Developer sued for taking proceeds of crime from foreign nationals

New York real estate developer being sued for $18 billion for accepting alleged proceeds of corruption from foreigners who were known PEPs According to an article yesterday in the Wall Street Journal, real estate developers in New York are being sued for accepting proceeds of corruption from politically exposed persons (PEP). The plaintiffs are the [...]

UN Chief charged in money laundering bribery scheme for allegedly accepting millions in cash from Chinese casino billionaire

Former UN President Charged The former United Nations (“UN”) President of the UN General Assembly, John Ashe, the UN Deputy Ambassador, Francis Lorenzo, a Chinese foreign national billionaire, Ng Lap Seng (also known as David Ng) and two of his associates were charged in New York with various offenses over an alleged bribery scheme. Two defendants [...]

Structuring – How Moving Funds from China to Vancouver Often Mirrors How Columbian Drug Lords Move their Money

How is Some Money Moved from China? Often with Smurfs and Structuring. I am often asked how Chinese foreign nationals who have immigrated to the US, China, or EU, or are attempting to, move millions of dollars in funds to other countries unimpeded when there are Chinese  banking regulations (commonly called currency controls) that prohibit [...]