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Art Proves Attractive Refuge For Money Launderers

May 13, 2013
abstract painting


The checks and balances of the art market make it challenging to determine the difference between a trustworthy buyer and a laundering fraud.  Unlike real estate titles and deeds which require names and mortgage brokers, stockbrokers, casinos, and banks which must report suspicious financial activity, art transactions have very little limitations.  Buyers and sellers can be labeled as “private collectors” making it almost impossible for officials to track down the whereabouts of such piece.  Recently, a crate passing through Kennedy International Airport from London had a $100 value to the artwork inside.  After a federal investigation took place, the artwork inside was actually a Jean-Michel Basquait painting worth $8 million.  The investigation led back to Edemar Cid Ferreira, a former Brazilian banker who has been illegally using his 12,000 piece art collection to hide illicit profits and illegal transfers of assets around the world.

Source: Art Proves Attractive Refuge for Money Launderers