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Fintrac found 'significant' deficiencies at nearly 500 real estate firms

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Real Estate Professional | 14 Sep 2016, 09:24 AM Agree 0
Canada's anti-money laundering agency conducted on-site examinations of more than 800 real estate companies over four-and-a-half years and found ``significant'' or ``very significant'' deficiencies during 60 per cent of those visits, new data shows.
  • Aldo | 14 Sep 2016, 09:48 AM Agree 0
    This is nothing but "pas the buck" by Fintrac. As mentioned in the press lately, they don't take any action after being informed of money laundering by offshore buyers anyway.
  • LW | 14 Sep 2016, 09:56 AM Agree 0
    FINTRAC has been purposely ambiguous about defining the threshold levels for non-compliance & the nature of the non-compliance because this strategy strengthens their business case.
  • | 14 Sep 2016, 10:08 AM Agree 0
    It's rampant in Oakville and no one cares.
  • Moe | 14 Sep 2016, 10:35 AM Agree 0
    Instead of concentrating on our paperwork, they should concentrate on finding the money launderers. IF they find someone they suspect laundering money through real estate, and no paperwork, then possibly a big fine, but really... to not have the paperwork on the condo my mother bought. Most realtors know their customers personally. know what they are buying the property for, and usually their profession and risk. It is using a big stick to hit an ant when they are going after a hornet.
  • MK | 14 Sep 2016, 10:45 AM Agree 0
    So with all the compliance that does take place in real estate offices, how many "suspicious clients" have been brought to light by use of these forms? I for one can tell you that if a money launderer produced I.D. there is likely very little chance that I could tell it was a fake. We are taught how to use the forms by not how to identify counterfeit I.D. or what to look for that makes someone "suspicious".
  • Bill | 14 Sep 2016, 10:46 AM Agree 1
    Nice to see the Fintrac folks "work" for their salaries doing audits and travelling. Otherwise they would have nothing to do. It would be great to know how many leads the program has had for suspicious investigations.
  • DD | 14 Sep 2016, 02:15 PM Agree 0
    FINTRAC is a complete was of paper and time; embarrassingly ineffective really. The rules do not protect against or identify money laundering individuals or companies. Those folks learned how to skirt the rules by day 2 after FINTRAC was applied. The auditors simply look for paperwork deficiencies and have no ability to THINK. So, hundreds of deficiencies mean how many cases of money laundering? None, there is no correlation between not filling out the form 100% correctly and exposing criminal activity. In fact. it's highly likely the criminals filled out the form perfectly. They need to spend money investigating, not auditing.
  • monty albert | 14 Sep 2016, 09:00 PM Agree 0
    Fintrac is passing the buck to Realtors. Realtors do not have enough security , nor do they vet their employees. This information is easily removed from realtor files. Fntrac information plus the information on the cheque receipt is now a commodity, and can be sold to criminals. They can use this information to empty bank accounts, place mortgages on home etc. Reco has printed information on this use in the past.

    IF fintrac really wanted to use this information, Realtors should have to send it to fintrac immediately, and then Realtors should destroy their copy.
    Fintrac does not want the responsibility of holding the information in case it is one of their employees who is responsible for selling it.
    Organized crime call this information paper gold
  • MK | 15 Sep 2016, 12:37 PM Agree 0
    Are you listening REP, FINTRAC, and the Media? Of all the correct forms filled out, how many money launderers have been exposed. Perhaps it's time to audit FINTRAC's success record!
  • moet | 17 Sep 2016, 12:14 AM Agree 0
    And when we know it is suspicious... what do they do? In the old days I remember xeroxing cash deposits. They would be better off, to give us an anonymous tip phone number. Has anyone ever had them come to check out a lead from a fintrak form?
  • moet | 17 Sep 2016, 12:14 AM Agree 0
    And when we know it is suspicious... what do they do? In the old days I remember xeroxing cash deposits. They would be better off, to give us an anonymous tip phone number. Has anyone ever had them come to check out a lead from a fintrak form?
  • Vincent | 17 Sep 2016, 06:15 AM Agree 0
    This is useless hurdles to agents and agencies, which have to duplicate the same ID verifications done at the deed signing by notaries and lawyers closing the transactions. On top of this, agencies are also tax collectors for GST & PST. The next step will be to collect, at the source, the income taxes payable from the commissions. All these require human resources that many agencies cannot afford given the industry revenue sharing arrangements between agents and agencies.
  • | 18 Sep 2016, 11:26 PM Agree 0
    Yes government of Canada...Fintrac we knew this would happen!!!, here we go again. Now Realtors are required to be immigration custom officers. Banks should handle this, not Realtors. We deal with property defects, contracts and market stats. We never ever see CASH or get paid in Cash. So how come we became Customs officials? This should be disclosed to mortgage agencies and Banks...we don't deal with funds bumm asses. Alway more paper work for a Realtor. Fintrac should find it out for themselves or set up offices to deal with new immigrants and incoming cash and issue official release of cash. The Fintrac document is a joke, you should read it. It really put more pressure on Reators. Not good Fintrac!!!! We are not police officers, stop tosing your trash in our side. Deal with your money laundering issues and let us just be sales representatives . We don't deal with cash bumm asses...and Never did!!!
  • | 18 Sep 2016, 11:29 PM Agree 0
    Well said!
  • Tom M | 20 Sep 2016, 12:05 PM Agree 0
    I think that 500 out of 800 companies having significant deficiencies says more about the government agency than it does about the 500 real estate companies. I was subject to a FINTRAC audit. It was a terrible experience, and our associations like CREA and OREA are less informed than what would be necessary to guide its members through this rats nest of convoluted policies and procedures at FINTRAC.
  • Jim W | 23 Sep 2016, 02:10 PM Agree 0
    FINTRAC IS A WASTE OF THE PUBLIC AND THE REALTORS TIME . Moreso it is a huge cost to the taxpayers when involving real estate transactions. Time is money. The public is demanding lower real estate fees, and the government piles on more costly useless paperwork.
    The Harper government promised less paperwork for small business, we're still waiting Trudeau. If the lawyers don't have to keep all the info why do Realtors? Storage cost alone are an issue that ultimately adds to the cost of the transaction. Fraudulent deals only happen when a
    realtor,client and a lawyer conspire to commit fraud of any kind, and banks are compliant. The straw buyers is one example. We never have, and never will, truly know where the money comes from, we are not profilers, we can't tell if clients are giving us the correct information. We have no access to police files to check out information. I believe we are put in a very precarious situation by Fintrac, as we are the keepers of some very personal information that we don't use or need. Lawyers accept the bulk of the funds from banks, that's where the information should be gathered. Thru the Banks and the Lawyers.
    Come on CREA earn our fees and get the yoke off our backs.
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