There is a long-running assumption by many not familiar with the art market that art is used to launder money. The accusers say the art market lacks transparency. Transparency must, they say, make it easy for bad actors to use art as a means to move money surreptitiously.
But there are at least two good reasons to doubt that art is being used to launder money. The first is that law enforcement has only the tiniest handful of cases where money laundering has used art. There are few cases where known money launderers are suspect of using art as a conduit for illicit funds.
That's most likely because of the second reason. And it's got nothing to do with art dealers being virtuous. Quite the contrary. Let's see why.
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