By Lisa A. Tyler
National Escrow Administrator
An excerpt from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) 2022 Congressional Report on Business Email Compromise (BEC) and Real Estate Wire Fraud reveals a recommendation to change the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) governing the banking industry to prevent wire fraud. The much-needed recommendation is contained in the article titled “UNIFORM commercial code issue.”
Settlement agents are experts in completing real estate transactions. They know how to clear up clouds on title, follow written instructions, prorate taxes, track down old lien releases, balance a file, etc. They help buyers, sellers and borrowers realize the American dream of home ownership every day. Sometimes a transaction comes their way which causes concern. In their heart of hearts, they feel something is not right and they just cannot close the deal. The story titled “WHAT to do?” is one example.
Real estate agents, settlement agents and title agencies nationwide continue to be contacted by imposters posing as legitimate property owners and attempting to list properties for sale. The good news is the industry has been educating everyone regarding scam warning signs. We receive reports daily from settlement agents who have tracked down the real property owner before real damage has been done. This story is no different.
Money laundering involves disguising financial assets so they can be used without detection of the illegal activity that produced them. It is considered laundered once the “dirty” money is “cleaned” – making it appear to come from legitimate, legal sources. Criminals launder money that is illegally received for many different types of criminal offenses, such as human trafficking, dealing in narcotics or arms, terrorism activity and so forth. It provides them with a method to conceal the proceeds, sources and/or the nature of their crimes. Laundering threatens the integrity of the financial system.
Original article: https://fraudinsights.fnf.com/vol18iss02/byline.htm