To Fight Corruption, Regulate Art Dealers, Real Estate Agents, Other White-Collar Enablers

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The FBI has long viewed obscure private investment funds as dangerous financial pathways for malevolent foreign activities. Nearly a decade ago, the bureau caught Moscow trying to use venture capital funds in Boston and Silicon Valley to steal U.S. military secrets. Last year, a leaked FBI intelligence bulletin warned about cryptocurrency scammers, drug cartels, and Russian organized crime increasingly using loosely regulated investment vehicles for crime and corruption in the United States. The same FBI leak also pointed to the threat of foreign governments using investment funds for political influence operations. Russia and the United Arab Emirates allegedly tried to influence the Trump administration’s foreign policies through investment fund managers who were friends with then-President Donald Trump and his family, including by dangling lucrative deals before them.

Private investment companies such as hedge funds and private equity firms…

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