blog 22.03.2024


Takeaways on the US role in illicit financial flows related to environmental crimes in the Amazon.

Speakers: Ian Gary, Executive Director, FACT Coalition, and Julia Yansura, Programme Director for Environmental Crime and Illicit Finance, FACT Coalition.

  • As the world's largest economy, the US has an important role to play in combating the illicit proceeds of environmental crime, as it is also the world's largest secrecy jurisdiction. The FACT Coalition has identified numerous cases of environmental crime proceeds from the Amazon being laundered through US shell companies, real estate and other sectors and channels. More information on the cases is available in this report.

  • Beneficial ownership was one of the first recommendations to the US financial system to achieve transparency. International access through trusted foreign partners is key to investigations by financial intelligence units around the world.

  • In the US, a national anti-money laundering framework for real estate is being developed, which will contribute to the transparency and traceability of ownership in commercial and residential real estate markets.

  • Challenges and improvements remain in the enforcement of anti-money laundering laws. Investigations and prosecutions of US anti-money laundering laws violations and the Lacey Act should be prioritised. There is also a need to improve the exchange of information through mutual legal assistance treaties, including simplifying the process, standardizing forms, and training foreign authorities on appropriate request protocols.

The full recording of the presentation from the 20 March Follow-the-Money Working Group meeting is available here: