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COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, along with 19 other state attorneys general, have sent a letter to the U.S. Treasury Department in opposition to a new federal policy that would provide the federal government with access to nearly every American’s bank account and financial transaction information.

“This makes the IRS more powerful than the police — even the cops have to at least issue a subpoena. Even the police have to have a reasonable, articulable suspicion before they can ‘stop-and-frisk.’ ” Yost said. “This anti-American bill allows real-time spying by the government on law-abiding citizens — all of us, all the time. It must not become law.”

In the letter, the attorneys general argue that banks across the country will have to transform the way in which they conduct business in order to comply with the proposed reporting requirements, including investing significant amounts of money in data collection and other systems. The letter argues that consumers will be punished in many ways, as banks would likely pass on costs in the form of fees or higher interest rates, not to mention the centralized storage of sensitive information would provide cyber criminals with an additional target to exploit with information about nearly every American.

The group says that if stopping financial criminals or punishing those who evade taxes is the goal of the administration, they will gladly join to find the right solutions based on the rule of law, but violating the rights of virtually every American with a bank account is not the answer.

In addition to Ohio, the coalition also includes the attorneys general of the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

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White House Flags Art Industry for Money Laundering While Permitting Hunter to Sell Art to Anonymous Buyers

The White House flagged money laundering in the art industry on Monday as a point of corruption while allowing Hunter Biden to sell his artwork to anonymous buyers for as much as $500,000.

The first report of its kind named the United States Strategy on Countering Corruption is geared towards exploring the ways and means “government officials abuse public power for private gain.”

Though the White House’s report specifically focused on the art industry as a “market” where financial crimes occur, it did not mention the Biden family’s involvement with corruption, such as Hunter’s art selling scheme to investors while his father is president.

Hunter Biden proclaimed Thursday it is "courageous" to sell "art" to "anonymous" investors for $500,000.00.

— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) July 31, 2021

Hunter has reportedly sold multiple pieces of art for at least $75,000 this fall to anonymous buyers, and the New York Times reported first lady Jill Biden has allegedly displayed Hunter’s artwork in the White House.

The White House has defended Hunter’s scheme as consistent with “the highest ethical standards.” Nevertheless, the report flagged the following about the art industry’s criminal pliability:

The markets for art and antiquities—and the market participants who facilitate transactions—are especially vulnerable to a range of financial crimes. Built-in opacity, lack of stable and predictable pricing, and inherent cross-border transportability of goods sold, make the market optimal for illicit value transfer, sanctions evasion, and corruption.

The art industry’s corruption is vast. Art “can be hidden or smuggled,” the National Law Review wrote. “Transactions often are private, and prices can be subjective and manipulated — as well as extremely high”:

Once purchased, the art can disappear from view for years, even decades. A lot of the art bought at auctions goes to freeports – ultra-secure warehouses for the collections of millionaires and billionaires, ranging from Picassos and gold to vintage Ferraris and fine wine.

The freeports, which exist in Switzerland, Luxembourg and Singapore, offer a variety of tax advantages because the goods stored in them are technically in transit. The Economist magazine reported that the freeport near the Geneva airport alone is thought to hold $100 billion (U.S.) of art.

Once inside the freeport, the art can be sold privately and anonymously to other buyers. The art need never leave the warehouse after the private sale is completed.

The White House report also outlined tax crimes as “interconnected” acts of corruption with money laundering. “For example, a World Bank study of 25,000 firms in 57 countries found that firms that pay more bribes also evade more taxes,” the report stated.

In 2013, Joe Biden and Hunter Biden flew aboard Air Force Two to China. Ten days later, Hunter Bidens firm scored a $1.5 billion deal with a subsidiary of the Communist Chinese governments Bank of China.

— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) September 13, 2021

Hunter is reportedly under investigation for tax and money laundering schemes, CNN first reported in 2020. The FBI is allegedly investigating whether Hunter and his associates violated “tax and money laundering laws in business dealings in foreign countries, principally China, according to two people briefed on the probe.”

The White House issued the report days before the Biden-Harris administration will host the virtual Summit for Democracy, which will focus on “challenges and opportunities facing democracies.” Those in attendance at the event will “include over 100 participants from governments, civil society and the private sector,” the Hill reported.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø

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