Money Laundering Essay

1196 words - 5 pages

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, money laundering is the process by which one conceals the existence, illegal source, or illegal application of income and then disguises that income to make it appear legitimate. Money laundering involves a three step process which includes placement, layering and integration (Albrecht et al, 2009). Placement is the first step and it includes the launderer opening up an account at a bank or some other type of financial business to make deposits with the illegal money. The placement step is often looked at as the most risk taking step because the launderer does not know the reaction of the bank and how they are going to accept a large cash deposit. If the deposit is too large the bank can recognize it and this could be considered a red flag for the bank. The purpose of this step is to avoid the authorities and to remove the money as far away from the source as possible. The second step is called layering. This is where the launderer hides the money by opening up other accounts at other banks and makes transactions between these different accounts sometimes even in different countries. This makes it very hard to track the exact location of the money. The last step is the integration step. The money is finally used out into society and seems to be legal, legit money but it really came from an illegal crime. Theses launderers use the money to buy houses, cars and anything else that is expensive. Now these launderers have lots of money that they have obtained illegally (Albrecht et al, 2009). Money laundering is extremely important because it is not just a crime that was created overnight. This scheme took time and intelligence to be thought out. We are not dealing with dumb people, but many of times these people are college graduates that have a lot of knowledge. This criminal act has become very successful and can be harmful to our society and the businesses that get tangled up in it.

Money Laundering
According to Hopton (2009), the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 was created in order to prevent money laundering. The act was made to try to discourage illegal acts such as money laundering from happening and to deter the criminals from even thinking about committing the crime. Woods (1998) stated that money laundering was not a criminal offense at the time the Bank Secrecy Act was passed. The act provides information on the movement of money through financial institutions in the United States and it monitors the movement of money into and out of the United States. It requires banks and other financial businesses to help the government in trying to prevent and detect money laundering. The federal government law enforcement agencies use the information gathered through the Bank Secrecy Act to detect criminal activities and regulatory violations. These businesses are required to keep track of all of their cash transactions of ten thousand dollars and more and report them to the IRS within...

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