Michael F. Adamson
CJ 2400 Organizational and Occupational Crime
Money laundering, in its most basic form, is the process by which large amounts of illegally obtained money is given the appearance of having originated from a legitimate source. There are many methods in which this can be accomplished and criminals are constantly coming up with new ideas on how to do so. If done successfully, it allows the criminals to maintain control over their “proceeds” and ultimately provide a legitimate cover for their source of income. Money laundering is tied to both white collar crimes as well as violent crimes and it can have a destabilizing effect to the economy. Given the various methods by which the crime can be facilitated, as well as the original crimes that bring forth the revenue, combating the issue involves a multi-agency approach. Any criminal who benefits financially from crime is going to look for a way to legitimize his/her proceeds. This is the same for the bank clerk who is embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars through the click of a button or the drug traffickers earning millions at the pull of a trigger. For years, the Italian Mafia has been earning billions of dollars by way of force and violence and have washed that blood soaked money through methods that give an appearance of a legitimate organization, such as real estate, restaurant purchases or Laundromats (no pun intended). The laundering of the ill gotten gains of any criminal is limited only by his or her creativity. One method, used frequently by drug traffickers, involves breaking up large amounts of cash into transactions that each amount to less than $10,000 to avoid currency reporting requirements. Other laundering schemes involve casinos, purchasing of gems and precious metals, wire transfer companies, and smuggling smuggling, illegal transport across state or national boundaries of goods or persons...