Has one ever wondered how a criminal can enjoy his profit without being exposed? If a criminal wants to enjoy his money successfully, he knows he has to hide the true proceeding of his wealth. Since there are criminals doing misdeeds for a financial motive, there has been ways to disguise the real origins of the profits. It was not until the 20 century when a formal term was imposed to this act. Even though the famous Al Capone was incarcerated because of tax evasion (actually considered as money laundering charges, too), he needed to make his money seems as legal money so the police won’t have any reason to suspect him. However, the situation for money launderers is not the same as Al Capone’s. If Al Capone was alive, he would need a variety of techniques to launder his money. As time has passed and technology has been improving so has money laundering techniques, but the United States law enforcement is battling money laundering every year by implementing new laws and regulations so it would be harder to launder money and easier to prevent and uncover it.
Before discussing the topic, it is important to have a concrete definition of the term money laundering. Money laundering is a term that most people usually hear of in the daily news or the newspaper, but people don’t usually have a formal or concise definition of the term. Money laundering is the process of making “dirty” or “illegal” money seems like “clean” or “legal” money (Kelly, Maghan and Joseph). The process of money laundering is in essence the most important part in an organized crime organization. Money laundering is so important that according to Gerhard Mueller, a pioneer in the international and comparative criminal justice field, money laundering is like the “life blood” of organized crime, but at the same time the “Achilles heel” of illicit trafficking. In other words, money laundering in what allows criminal to keep on doing their illegal activities, and getting a profit out of them, but the same process is what most times allows law enforcement to uncover and stop organized crime.
The term money laundering is a term that technically define itself, but how and when this term was originated? There is not an exact version of where the term money laundering comes from, but there is a theory that affirms the term was first used and recognized internationally in the 1970’s, after the Watergate scandal, the scandal that led to the resignation of the president Nixon (Dr. Gholanhossein).
In order to successfully launder money three processes are needed: placement, layering, and integration. In the first state, placement, the illegal proceeding are disengaged from direct association with the crime or criminal. In the second stage, layering, the money is used in some legal financial transaction in order to “camouflage” the cash. In the third stage, integration, the apparently legal money is available to the money launder (Kelly, Maghan and Joseph). For better understanding, the fig 1...