I know the basics of money laundering. I need more in depth knowledge now.
March 20, 2008 1:26 PM   Subscribe

I know the basics of money laundering. Now I want to read more about the various methods used in laundering money.

I recently read a book called Crime School by Chris Mathers. He talked about the various methods used to launder money such as shell companies, the black market peso exchange, and smurfing.

I want sites, books, or articles that give true accounts of these methods at work, or a more in-depth explanation than that Mathers gave.
posted by reenum to Work & Money (8 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I want to read more about the various methods used in laundering money.

I am picturing 1000 MeFites quickly racing to figure out if reenum is actually Armen Rezai Asl.

I have an old textbook called "Money Laundering: A Guide for Criminal Investigators" by John Madinger. Amazon shows it out of stock, but I found it at a used bookstore for fifty cents. It's pretty interesting, but having not read Mathers's book I don't know that it wouldn't rehash the same stuff.
posted by rokusan at 1:42 PM on March 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

Here is a real life example. A bit old, but that's how it works.
posted by Brian James at 1:46 PM on March 20, 2008

The hawala (or "alternative remittance system") has always seemed fascinating to me because of the way its very ancientness seems to make it impervious to current detection efforts.

More here and here.
posted by subajestad at 1:50 PM on March 20, 2008

My dosh is fairly clean to begin with so I can't claim to be an expert on money laundering, but I'd like to point out that all financial institutions are required to file a CTR on any transaction involving +10K in cash, or transactions in one day adding up to +10K.

Structure transactions to get around the CTR (changing 9K in cash for small bills or money orders every day, for example) and you'll probably get a SAR filed on your ass.
posted by Juliet Banana at 1:51 PM on March 20, 2008

Best answer: I was in Las Vegas for a convention circa 1988 and observed this:

Early in the morning, maybe 8-9AM, I was out on a beautiful day just kind of walking around the strip (I think I was staying at the no-longer-extant Landmark). I wandered into a sidewalk-level casino that was about the size of a large video arcade, but it was a true casino and was open for business. I wandered all the way to the back of the casino where there were many, many, empty blackjack tables. I noticed a kid, maybe 21 years old, playing blackjack just himself against the dealer. I watched from a distance of maybe 20 feet away and I couldn't for the life of me figure out what he was doing. He was playing two hands at a time, betting $200 on each hand and very unemotionally losing and losing and losing. When his chips were gone, he reached into his tennis shorts and pulled out a big wad of 100 dollar bills with a rubber band around the doubled stack, peeled off a couple more thousand, bought chips and continued to lose. I was wracking my brain trying to figure how this average looking kid wearing sneakers, shorts, and a T-shirt had this much money to lose, was playing so stupidly (no bet variation) and didn't seem to care. He eventually noticed me watching from a distance, looked over at me a couple more times, picked up his chips and left.

For weeks I wondered what it was that I observed. Then it hit me. He was probably a "bag man" for some illegal outside activity that the casino owners had an interest in. What better way to deliver the payoff to the bosses than simply "lose" the money at the tables?
posted by Rafaelloello at 2:36 PM on March 20, 2008 [5 favorites]

This is one of my favorite examples: One scheme involved the purchase of machine tools in Miami and their resale in Colombia at 30 percent below the purchase price; it almost forced the legal distributor in Colombia out of business. Greg Passic, a financial specialist in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, says that Caterpillar tractors are bought in the United States with drug money and transported to Colombia. "They sell for less in Bogotá than in Miami," he notes.
posted by milkrate at 2:44 PM on March 20, 2008

A new one to me just happened the other day. An illegal cigarette ring was busted near Montreal. They had ATM machines that they used for laundering the money. These would be located around the city, filled with a lot of their own dirty cash which was then replaced by 'clean' money for the banks that people withdrew. Plus they made a little money on each transaction.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 3:20 PM on March 20, 2008

I find this a pretty interesting topic too - (hope you don't need this for practical purposes). Last week I picked up The Laundrymen by Robinson Jeffrey. Though it was written in the 90s and has a UK slant, I'm sure loads of the techniques still work. Some of it read like a handbook in how to launder cash Very entertaining read too.
posted by laukf at 4:30 PM on March 20, 2008

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