By Lisa A. Tyler
National Escrow Administrator
Three different purchase agreements were received simultaneously by three offices in the state of Montana — a Fidelity office, a title issuing agent of FNTIC and a Chicago Title office — all from the same buyer attempting to deposit counterfeit cashier's checks into escrow. In each transaction, the buyer attempted to direct the escrow office to release the deposit money to the seller prior to close of escrow and before the cashier's check could be returned as counterfeit. Read all about it in "MONTANA escrow officers cannot be fooled."
"ONCE bitten, twice shy" is a story about the Albuquerque, New Mexico accounting center receiving outgoing wire transfer requests from a spoofed email account that looked like it belonged to one of their escrow officer's. Luckily for the Company, the story has a happy ending. This accounting center was hit with the same crime two years ago, so the employees knew something was suspicious about the wire requests and refused to process the outgoing wires.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) has money launderers in their crosshairs. They are issuing orders to title companies to discover names of individuals who might be hiding behind an entity, such as an LLC, in order to perpetrate the crime. Read "LAUNDERING dirty money" to discover the transactions and geographic areas being targeting.
Did you know foreign sellers would be perjuring themselves if they completed and signed the Substitute Form 1099–S? Did you know foreign sellers are not eligible to sign the Certification for No Information Reporting form? To learn the reasons read the article entitled "1099–S reporting for foreign sellers."
Be sure to answer the monthly 1099–S question to make certain you understand the tips on properly reporting sales in order to avoid penalties!
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