Syed Rahman of business crime solicitors Rahman Ravelli explains why an HMRC crackdown on estate agents should be visible as a warning to the ones running in property sales to address cash laundering. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) made unannounced inspections to 50 property dealers in England as a part of every week-lengthy crackdown on cash laundering in the property industry. HMRC officers targeted estate agents suspected of trading without being registered, as required under the Money Laundering Regulations. HMRC will now take action towards those businesses visited who have been failing to conform with the Regulations, with viable penalties such as fines and prosecution. In a try to spotlight its crackdown on what it sees as marketers failing to educate a team of workers well or use due diligence concerning prospective customers, HMRC announced that property agent Countrywide has already been fined £215,000 for failure to comply with the Regulations even as now-defunct online corporation Tepilo become ordered to pay £68,595.
John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, stated there could be “0 tolerance for firms organized to show a blind eye” to the Money Laundering Regulations. HMRC Director of Fraud Investigation Simon York said that the HMRC visits had been a warning call to estate dealers who maintain to disregard their prison obligation to attempt to prevent money laundering. This is the primary intelligence-led, coordinated hobby aimed at property agents who are suspected of buying and selling without registering with HMRC, as legally required. Under the Money Laundering Regulations, property sellers must carry out stronger due diligence on clients and exams on their business’s vulnerability to cash laundering.
Estate business enterprise is a place of labor classed as being inside the regulated region – a sector regarded as sporting a hazard of contact with the ones looking to launder the proceeds of crime. Estate groups can have no excuse for not understanding this or making sure they agree to the Money Laundering Regulations. After all, it’s miles greater than 3 years for the reason that HMRC published a 41-web page document outlining what estate agencies should do to keep away from troubles with money laundering. With the most consequences for failure to conform with the Money Laundering Regulations being limitless fines and up to 2 years in prison, estate agencies can not afford to show a blind eye to them.