Assad's uncle Rifaat's French real estate empire is totally legit

Rifaat al-Assad, the uncle of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, has a real estate portfolio in France that Le Monde estimates is worth $215 million.

Rifaat left Syria after falling out with his brother Hafez in 1984, and the source of his wealth is “governments, kingdoms and individuals” who gave him property, not Syrian public funds, according to supporters including his son, Siwar al-Assad.

Real estate is often used to launder money or avoid paying taxes. Drug money may be helping fuel Miami’s condo boom, and federal prosecutors believe a Russian criminal organization has tried to use New York real estate to launder money.  Source: