The Time Warner Center in New York is an important part of the state’s large real estate purchases. Over the past few years, some of the center’s most expensive condos have been bought by mysterious elite. One property with a price tag of $21.4 million was snatched up by Dimitrios Contominas who is a Greek businessman with some history of involvement with corruption. This story is not foreign to those have been known to purchase these high priced residences. Many even take measures to ensure that their identity is a secret. These tactics include making purchases through limited liability companies or even trusts, known to hide the names of buyers. Many years of money from all of over the world have been exchanged right in the Time Warner Center, which therefore revolutionized real estate in New York.

Leaders from countries such as Kazakhstan, Malaysia, and Colombia own estates in New York. Due to the common secrecy exercised by such leaders, the United States can seldom ask questions regarding their multi-million dollar purchases. Shell companies help maintain this level of secrecy through the ability to be untraceable. In New York City as a whole, $8 billion is spent every year for places to live that cost over $5 million apiece. More than half of all these sales were to the undisclosed shell companies.

In response to the amount of foreign money coming into the Time Warner Center, brokers, lawyers, accountants and more have declared that they are uninterested in the source of this money. The New York Times on the other hand had an intense interest in who were these estate owners. It took a process of over a year filled with searching court, business, and property records to uncover the names of some of these individuals. This search becomes even more difficult since purchases can be made by a group of investors or several family members.

To hear more about this foreign wealth stream right in New York, visit NYTimes online here.