At least $2.3 billion has been laundered via U.S. real estate transactions in the last five years, according to a new report by a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.

By using a database of over 100 publicly reported real estate money laundering cases in the U.S., United Kingdom and Canada, Global Financial Integrity says the U.S. has become a preferred destination for those looking to use real estate to stash illicit funds — making it a “Kleptocrat’s dream.”

Public officials and their associates, known as politically exposed persons, were involved in more than half of the U.S. cases that GFI reviewed. Those PEPs include Genaro García Luna, a former Mexican security minister who bought millions of dollars of U.S. property while accused of taking bribes from the Sinaloa cartel, and the stepson of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who was arrested in 2019 for his alleged role in the 1MDB…

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