Money laundering is essential for criminal organizations that wish to use illegally obtained money effectively. Dealing in large amounts of illegal cash is inefficient and dangerous. Criminals need a way to deposit the money in legitimate financial institutions, yet they can only do so if it appears to come from legitimate sources #mikeinthenight
The process of laundering money typically involves three steps: placement, layering, and integration.
Placement puts the “dirty money” into the legitimate financial system.
Layering conceals the source of the money through a series of transactions and bookkeeping tricks.
In the final step, integration, the now-laundered money is withdrawn from the legitimate account to be used for whatever purposes the criminals have in mind for it.
There are many ways to launder money, from the simple to the very complex. One of the most common techniques is to use a legitimate, cash-based business owned by a criminal organization. For example, if the organization owns a restaurant, it might inflate the daily cash receipts to funnel illegal cash through the restaurant and into the restaurant’s bank account. After that, the funds can be withdrawn as needed. These types of businesses are often referred to as “fronts.”
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