- April 2017
"Dirty Money" - what is money laundering?
Money Laundering is when proceeds of crime, being an illegal activity, are used to purchase property or goods in order to make the money turn legally clean. This can be by way of purchasing a property which involves moving the money through a solicitor’s client account.
There have been many cases recently where “dirty” money obtained from crimes has been “cleaned” through buying properties. As legal advisers we are required to ensure that all the money we receive into our client account is from a legitimate source, and to make enquiries if we have any doubts.
This is why solicitors ask so many questions as to where the money for the purchase of a new home has come from. At a time of great excitement and expectation for the client when moving house, our enquiries can lead to frustration and annoyance.
The standard client answer of, “Do I look like a money launderer?” will not do. The mere supplying of bank statements is not enough. We are required to check where your funds have come from whether it be savings, proceeds from the sale of a property, an inheritance or a gift. Whatever information you have which shows where your money has come from in order to fund your purchase we will need to see. We are not here to trip you up, or catch you out, but are here to assist and ensure that your matter runs smoothly. If you are not sure what you need please just ask. We do not bite and understand that this can be one of the daunting areas of the law.
So a little tip, if you are looking to buy a property in the near future, make sure you keep your bank statements, copy ISA’s, wage slips and any other information which may help. If you are obtaining a gift from a lovely parent or some other person, the same rules apply to them as you and your conveyancer will need to see the same evidence from them along with their identification documents.
This article provides only a general summary and is not intended to be comprehensive. Special legal advice should be taken in any individual situation.