International Investing while avoiding money laundering claims

17 Replies

I have an investor overseas, Uganda, Africa, who is having issues getting money to America to invest. After speaking to him, I was informed that one of the family business accounts was closed due to suspicious activity. When trying to send money for a non-profit to Germany, the money was stopped, he was questioned thoroughly about the origin of the funds. Traveling personally with the funds is not possible as well being that you cannot travel with more than $10,000. Is there any advise on how to do this without having to deal with money laundering suspicion? Real estate is strictly the area I am asking for help in as far as transferring funds internationally. Thank you community!

Interested in what is shared here! I have people in Israel that want to invest in the tulsa market and have been wondering how that will work. If I learn any more I will be sure to share.

Do your people have a U.S. business entity?

CAUTION!!!
Sounds like you're being baited into a typical scam or you're a scammer about to try to bait someone else into a scam. "Here's the money, I'm trying to invest this money with you, having troubles with these laws, etc etc" next thing you know they found a way to make it work but some tax or tariff has to be paid off in the US first. It's only X thousand dollars. If you can take care of that, the money will transfer within X days and you can get your money plus and extra X amount for helping. You pay that tax/tariff and then a week goes by and it now there's something else holding it up. They'll keep hitting you with these fees until you catch on to the scam and then you'll call one day and their phinenumber will be disconnected.

Agree with Jeff above. Sounds very fishy. Today there are so many ways to move legit money , wire, paypal, bitcoin, transferwise. 

If this isnt a scam and your client is actually having trouble sounds to me the money he is trying to move isnt legit. Find a different client.

Originally posted by @Jeff Filali :

CAUTION!!!
Sounds like you're being baited into a typical scam or you're a scammer about to try to bait someone else into a scam. "Here's the money, I'm trying to invest this money with you, having troubles with these laws, etc etc" next thing you know they found a way to make it work but some tax or tariff has to be paid off in the US first. It's only X thousand dollars. If you can take care of that, the money will transfer within X days and you can get your money plus and extra X amount for helping. You pay that tax/tariff and then a week goes by and it now there's something else holding it up. They'll keep hitting you with these fees until you catch on to the scam and then you'll call one day and their phinenumber will be disconnected.

 100%  legit money is simply wired or forex exchange.. this has scam written all over it.

I'm not so sure its a scam.  I've lived in Asia for years and the Central Banks of the respective countries have the legitimate right to ask what is the source of funds, and what's the money being used for.  I sold a banana plantation and went through the 9th degree explaining why I was moving such a large amount of money to the US.  But those questions paled in comparison to the lender wanting full documentation to support those funds.  

@Darius Jamar Smith

The community will need more details to really give you the advice you are looking for, but international transfer of funds for REI is very common. However, IF this is legit, it's most likely red flagged due to the origin of the funds and/or the issue with the German non profit (more specifically, what organizations that NP is associated with).

Also, just my humble opinion, but if you don't already have history with this investor, and they contacted you, it most certainly is bogus.  

Matthew McNeil, that is what he went through when wiring money for a non profit cause to Germany even. They asked for the source of the money in detail that just isn't warranted and would've required him to track every customer who contributed to his business success it sounded like. The money came from the company account and because they did not have the paperwork asked for , the bank account was frozen. I know this may seem naive but I wonder is there a special permit or exception to these rules. Celebrities often carry around well more than the max $10,000 on their person when traveling. I wonder if they use every person with them to use as having $10,000 on each person or what. But, there has to be an easier way than having to go through a company audit just to invest in another country. If you come across any alternate route or can at least list steps you went through so that I can look into and prep him for them, it would be appreciated and helpful 

Scott England,

Thank you fro your insight. I am looking for the steps to take in order for a business owner in Uganda, to invest/purchase real estate in Houston, Texas. Who or what professional title is given to someone who handles these monetary transactions in these instances? And, before we move forward, he is legit. This past summer I visited him and his family, I've known him since college. His father was a prominent positive politician and they have legitimate business dealing with their government as well. It's all legit. I am curious as to what could cause a red flag as far as the origin mattering? Where is the best place for the money to flow from? Why would one account look fishy and what account or source will typically put worries at ease? 

This tread makes me ill.  If I wanted to wire $1m out of the country, my head would explode with anger if some government dipsh** tried to stop it until I could show him, to his personal satisfaction, where my money came from.  

It's none of your f'ing business" is what I'd want to say (and likely would, to my own determent)

I used to buy/sell bitcoin back before it hit $100.  I'd have people come in with cash to buy/sell at mtgox  +/- 10-15%  (if I had too much cash, I'd lower commission to sell, etc.).   But then the govt started busting people for not following KYC / AML laws so I said "F this"


(on the bright side, last year I decided to bring up my old wallet.  I only had 3 BTC left but I had a ton of LTC as that's what I'd normally hold in.  Sold it near the peak.  Yippee)

To answer your question:  No idea.  Unless you want to go the crypto route.  However, I sold a building to a dude from Aulstralia.  He simply wired the $ to the title company from Australia and that was that.  Didn't seem like it was a big issue.

Originally posted by @Darius Jamar Smith :

Matthew McNeil, that is what he went through when wiring money for a non profit cause to Germany even. They asked for the source of the money in detail that just isn't warranted and would've required him to track every customer who contributed to his business success it sounded like. The money came from the company account and because they did not have the paperwork asked for , the bank account was frozen. I know this may seem naive but I wonder is there a special permit or exception to these rules. Celebrities often carry around well more than the max $10,000 on their person when traveling. I wonder if they use every person with them to use as having $10,000 on each person or what. But, there has to be an easier way than having to go through a company audit just to invest in another country. If you come across any alternate route or can at least list steps you went through so that I can look into and prep him for them, it would be appreciated and helpful 

Celebs don't often fly in/out of the country with more than $10k on them.  There is no reason for them to do so.  Plus there are 10000 ways around that.  

You can fly domestic with that much cash and not have them say anything.  "Speaking for a friend" I know this to be true. 

If I had $100k to bring into the states I'd likely just buy a $100k piece of jewelry and take a prearragned hit when selling it back.  Or hell, buy/sell a baseball card worth a lot.   I've "known people" to fly home from overseas with two watches,  bought in Singapore that were over the limit.  They don't know that they were not brought over to begin with. 

Cody L.

I will definitely share all suggestions with him. The replies have helped although no clear solution has been found. Now, the crypto route, please explain. From what I'm assuming it for him to buy some crypto currency, and sell it in the U.S. to recoup the funds in U.S. currency? Is this all legit, will there be laws conflicting with this?

Originally posted by @Cody L. :

This tread makes me ill.  If I wanted to wire $1m out of the country, my head would explode with anger if some government dipsh** tried to stop it until I could show him, to his personal satisfaction, where my money came from.  

It's none of your f'ing business" is what I'd want to say (and likely would, to my own determent)

 Cody, its not some government individual who's making the decision regarding the "vetting" of international currency movement.  Its  governments working in collaboration to understand why large sums of money are moving internationally.  I've dealth with this many times and I've moved millions of dollars between countries.  Typically, the attention is on the initial transfer of funds and the Central banks have every right to inquire about it.  Afterward, once the initial transfer is done, I've never had to provide additional explanation as to why. And, they've never balked at my explantion.  I think you're confusing them asking a question vs. questioning what you're doing, and its your misinterpretation of them questioning the transfer that's feeding your angst.  

But, afterall, isn't your angst the reason cryptocurrencies and blockchain was created ;)  The problem is crypto didn't work (to the extent people like you hoped) and now we're still stuck with following the old rules. 

Remember the golden rule? He who owns the gold makes the rules. Or, in the case of moving money; he who controls the mechanisms by which money is moved wants to know why you're using his systems to move your money.  

He or she may be genuine. We have clients in many countries and some of them are problematic to get funds out of. sadly Uganda raises lots of red flags. But China and Malaysia for example have restrictions on sending money overseas. Even Fiji where I live has huge restrictions on off shore funds.

Having said all that it's your investors problem. If he can't get it out he can't get it out. Be very wary of getting involved you are dealing with scam central even if your guy is legit.

@Matthew McNeil & @Dean Letfus   are right.  Many countries regulate the flow of money in/out of their country.     I can't speak for Mr. Uganda, but I've lived overseas for almost 15 years and even my 100% legit money cannot just simply wired across borders.  In fact, some countries put a limit on how much an individual's money can leave the country, even if you can legitimately prove you make much more.   This leaves a person to deal with buying fancy watches, or simply carrying the 10K limit over in cash on every trip home.   You learn to be creative!

Originally posted by @Matthew McNeil :
Originally posted by @Cody L.:

This tread makes me ill.  If I wanted to wire $1m out of the country, my head would explode with anger if some government dipsh** tried to stop it until I could show him, to his personal satisfaction, where my money came from.  

It's none of your f'ing business" is what I'd want to say (and likely would, to my own determent)

 Cody, its not some government individual who's making the decision regarding the "vetting" of international currency movement.  Its  governments working in collaboration to understand why large sums of money are moving internationally.  I've dealth with this many times and I've moved millions of dollars between countries.  Typically, the attention is on the initial transfer of funds and the Central banks have every right to inquire about it.  Afterward, once the initial transfer is done, I've never had to provide additional explanation as to why. And, they've never balked at my explantion.  I think you're confusing them asking a question vs. questioning what you're doing, and its your misinterpretation of them questioning the transfer that's feeding your angst.  

But, afterall, isn't your angst the reason cryptocurrencies and blockchain was created ;)  The problem is crypto didn't work (to the extent people like you hoped) and now we're still stuck with following the old rules. 

Remember the golden rule? He who owns the gold makes the rules. Or, in the case of moving money; he who controls the mechanisms by which money is moved wants to know why you're using his systems to move your money.  

 If I want to move $1m out of the country, Crypto doesn't help me.  Yes, you can send $1m (or $1b) in crypto  almost instantly at the tap of a button, but how do you get that $1m INTO Crypto -- and then how do you get it OUT.

That was the problem I was solving with a company I owned back before BTC even hit $100.  I was a psychical space people could buy/sell in person w/ cash.  Was great until govt stepped in and started arresting people if they didn't follow KYC/AML laws (which I think are bullsh**)

Hopefully we'll move to a simple VAT for taxes one day.  Then the need for the IRS to even exist, much less be a giant invasive force, will be gone.

Originally posted by @Cody L. :
Originally posted by @Matthew McNeil:
Originally posted by @Cody L.:

This tread makes me ill.  If I wanted to wire $1m out of the country, my head would explode with anger if some government dipsh** tried to stop it until I could show him, to his personal satisfaction, where my money came from.  

It's none of your f'ing business" is what I'd want to say (and likely would, to my own determent)

 Cody, its not some government individual who's making the decision regarding the "vetting" of international currency movement.  Its  governments working in collaboration to understand why large sums of money are moving internationally.  I've dealth with this many times and I've moved millions of dollars between countries.  Typically, the attention is on the initial transfer of funds and the Central banks have every right to inquire about it.  Afterward, once the initial transfer is done, I've never had to provide additional explanation as to why. And, they've never balked at my explantion.  I think you're confusing them asking a question vs. questioning what you're doing, and its your misinterpretation of them questioning the transfer that's feeding your angst.  

But, afterall, isn't your angst the reason cryptocurrencies and blockchain was created ;)  The problem is crypto didn't work (to the extent people like you hoped) and now we're still stuck with following the old rules. 

Remember the golden rule? He who owns the gold makes the rules. Or, in the case of moving money; he who controls the mechanisms by which money is moved wants to know why you're using his systems to move your money.  

 If I want to move $1m out of the country, Crypto doesn't help me.  Yes, you can send $1m (or $1b) in crypto  almost instantly at the tap of a button, but how do you get that $1m INTO Crypto -- and then how do you get it OUT.

That was the problem I was solving with a company I owned back before BTC even hit $100.  I was a psychical space people could buy/sell in person w/ cash.  Was great until govt stepped in and started arresting people if they didn't follow KYC/AML laws (which I think are bullsh**)

Hopefully we'll move to a simple VAT for taxes one day.  Then the need for the IRS to even exist, much less be a giant invasive force, will be gone.

Having a simple VAT won't eliminate the IRS as you wrote.  It'll be IRS + VAT!!  :)

Originally posted by @Darius Jamar Smith :

Scott England,

Thank you fro your insight. I am looking for the steps to take in order for a business owner in Uganda, to invest/purchase real estate in Houston, Texas. Who or what professional title is given to someone who handles these monetary transactions in these instances? And, before we move forward, he is legit. This past summer I visited him and his family, I've known him since college. His father was a prominent positive politician and they have legitimate business dealing with their government as well. It's all legit. I am curious as to what could cause a red flag as far as the origin mattering? Where is the best place for the money to flow from? Why would one account look fishy and what account or source will typically put worries at ease? 

African investors with that kind of money will not bother you for that. They typically go big name for their investment. It is 99.999% that this is a scam. 

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