Vancouver’s booming real estate industry is being targeted in a federal money-laundering audit that could potentially lead to massive fines and jail time for realtors.
Ottawa’s increased examination of Vancouver real estate deals has been under way for several months and has been revealed in a Province investigation that obtained rare internal data and risk-analysis reports from Canada’s financial intelligence unit, Fintrac.
Documents obtained under access to information law — and The Province’s interviews with a wide array of B.C. real estate professionals, money laundering experts and Fintrac officials — suggest dramatic under-reporting of large cash transactions and suspicious transactions that realtors and developers are responsible to make to the federal government.
“We have significantly increased our examinations in the Vancouver area,” a Fintrac official said. “Our compliance people are not happy.”
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