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Money Laundering - Research Paper Example

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Money laundering refers to a variety of financial transactions done by criminals in which sources of finance and its proceeds are disguised by the parties involved. It poses a real threat to the financial system of the nation if not checked in time…
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Money Laundering
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Money Laundering

Money Laundering

It can be said that money laundering is not a cause in itself but it is a symptom that speaks about illegal activities in its root. Main Features of Money Laundering As such, money laundering is an age old activity because its underline cause lies in illegal activities such as drug trafficking, illegal production, smuggling, or tax evasion. All these underground activities have a single motive of making huge profits. Criminals attempt to legalize this money so that it can be used to acquire assets or used for their secret missions such as terrorist activities. In ‘promotional’ money laundering, money so garnered is reinvested in the illegal activities itself. The crux is that all these activities fall under a term ‘specified unlawful activities’ (SUA). Money laundering has drawn attention of the authorities in the recent years due to its role in terrorist activities as noticed during 9/11. Money laundering is rampant in most parts of the world and can cause serious economic and social implications because of its magnitude or malicious motives. Circumstantial Evidence and Money Laundering Investigators in the US need not prove that the money launderer was aware about the unlawful activity. That means that circumstantial evidence is enough for the investigator to prove that money launderer has generated the money through illicit means and juries will make note of this evidence during the trial. Thus, in the US, the money laundering charge can be proved by the investigating agency under Title 18, Section 1956, US Code through SUA proceeds; financial transaction with the sole aim to conceal or intent to conceal the proceeds; and the knowledge by culprit that the proceeds have resulted from illegal activity. It is important to note here that even clean money sent from outside the US with the purpose to promote an SUA will fall into charge of a money laundering. Thus, the intent to promote an SUA along with the movement of funds from or to the country is enough to put someone under a charge of money laundering (Leff, 2012). Money Laundering through Spending The Title 18, Section 1957, US Code deals with another kind of the money laundering charge, known as the money spending statute that prescribes that when the culprit moves over $10,000 illegally earned proceeds through a legal ‘financial institutions’ then he or she may be convicted under the law with a 10-year maximum penalty. The investigator need not prove any other thing except the simple facts of transaction unlike proving intent of the money launderer promoting an SUA under Section 1956. Further, the word 'financial institutions' is broadly defined to include not only banks or credit unions but jewelry stores, casinos, travel agencies, most merchants, brokers, and many others through which a culprit can spend their illegally earned proceeds (Leff, 2012). Money Laundering Threat Assessment (MLTA) In 2005, for the first time, the US government did Money Laundering Threat Assessment (MLTA).The purpose was to help regulators, policy makers and the law enforcement agencies to understand the depth and gravity of money laundering and develop strategy to thwart it. Under the MLTA, thirteen money laundering methods were analyzed in detail. The amount of dirty money in the US is certainly huge and globalization has given further impetus to this activity through on line payment possibility. Under MLTA several initiatives have been taken ... Read More
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