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How do money laundering operations work to clean dirty money?

 

How Money Laundering Works to Clean Dirty Money

Money laundering is a big problem these days. It’s when people try to make money that came from illegal stuff look like it came from legal stuff instead. There’s lots of ways crooks do this to try and trick the cops and the IRS. Let’s break it down so you can understand how it works.
The main goal is to take “dirty” money from bad stuff like selling drugs, and make it look “clean” so it seems like it came from a real business and they can spend it without getting caught. There’s usually 3 steps they use:

Placement

This is when they first get the dirty money and have to put it into the system so it can get cleaned. But they can’t just walk into a bank with a million dollars in cash and deposit it – that would look hella suspicious! So they break it up into smaller chunks first.
They’ll make lots of deposits over time under $10,000. Big deposits over 10k have to get reported to the government, so they avoid that. Or they’ll buy expensive stuff like cars, boats, and houses with the cash money. Then they can sell that stuff later and it looks more legit.
They also put it into businesses that get paid lots in cash like casinos, bars, strip clubs, and laundromats (that’s where the name comes from lol). These places already deal with so much cash that it doesn’t look weird when the crooks add more dirty money to the mix.

Layering

This is my favorite part, it’s real sneaky! The money is already in the system now, but they have to cover the tracks back to the original crime.
So they’ll transfer it around a bunch between a maze of bank accounts, businesses, offshore shell companies, and fake investments. There’s so many complex transactions that the original source gets lost.
They’ll also buy real estate, art, gold, and stuff like that in different names, so the money is now tied up in assets instead of bank accounts. Then they can resell it later and say they made profits off investing – boom the money is clean!
Some other classic layering moves:
Wire transfers between foreign banks
Paying “invoices” from fake offshore companies they control
Exchanging cash for casino chips and back again
Buying winning lottery tickets and getting paid the “winnings”
Mixing clean money with the dirty money
Using cryptocurrency exchanges and digital wallets
The more confusing they can make it, the better! Auditors will never be able to connect the dots.

Integration

This is the end game – time to bring the money back to use it! Now the funds look like they came from legitimate sources like businesses, investments, and loans.
At this point the crooks can spend the integrated money freely on houses, vacations, bling, or whatever they want. Maybe they’ll start some real businesses as a front to make even more.
As long as they pay taxes on it, the IRS doesn’t care where it came from. And if they get asked, they can just show the paperwork trail and be like “see, totally legit!”
Some examples:
They’ll get paid “salaries” from shell companies
Take out “loans” from foreign banks backed by their assets
Sell the assets they bought and keep the profits
Claim gambling winnings
Run it through real businesses like car washes and night clubs
And just like that – dirty money is cleaned and ready to use! Pretty crazy right?

How to Spot Money Laundering

If you work at a bank or business, you gotta keep an eye out for shady stuff that might be money laundering. Here’s some red flags to watch for:
Customer makes lots of big cash deposits below $10,000
Wires big money to countries known for money laundering like Panama
Company has way more revenue than their business would normally bring in
Person makes constant bank transactions that don’t match their job
Buys expensive assets for unreasonable prices in cash
Makes very complex business transactions for no clear reason
Shell companies with hidden owners do business transactions
Company is located in a foreign tax haven
Business doesn’t really sell anything or have many customers
There’s fancy computer programs that try to detect this stuff too and alert the authorities. But human eyes can still catch things the computers miss! So stay vigilant.

Consequences of Money Laundering

These crooks gotta be sneaky, because if they get caught it’s bad news:
Up to 20 years in federal prison for each offense
Fines of $500,000 or more
Forfeit all money and property involved
Get charged with the original crime too
The government does not play around with money laundering. They’ll hit you with so many felonies your grandkids will still be on probation.
It also hurts the economy when billions of dirty dollars get laundered each year. So the IRS, FBI, and FinCEN are all trying to crack down hard.
New banking rules like “Know Your Customer” and extra reporting requirements make it way harder to get away with now too.
So to all you wannabe Tony Sopranos out there – find a better way to make some cash! Crime doesn’t pay.
Well there you have it – now you know all about how money laundering works to clean dirty money and make it look legit. Pretty crazy schemes huh?
Let me know if you have any other questions! I’m always happy to gab about this kinda stuff. And remember – crime doesn’t pay!

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
2024-03-18
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
2024-03-18
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
2024-03-15
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
2024-03-15
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
2024-03-12
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
2024-03-12
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
2024-02-28
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
2024-02-24
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

Article by: Johnny Moneybags

 

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