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View Full Version : Need A Banking or money expert's help.



Overkill
01-01-2009, 09:55 PM
If you were involved in a large bank robbery and had a huge amount of currency on your hands, how would you go about laundering it? I would love for someone to suggest a cool, creative laundering scheme. I need it for a story i am working on.

Or, if someone has a different idea then where i am at please feel free to suggest. Here is what i am doing: i have a story and i need there to be a crime of some kind. an FBI agent is going to get intel or a tip about this crime, as it has already been committed, and it is going to get him killed. I thought of a bank robbery because it seems the easiest thing to use. I assume if you rob a bank and there is a large amount of currency missing, then you can't use it because it would be marked which is why i think you would have to find a way to launder it. Any suggestions on how this could work?

She_wulf
01-01-2009, 10:50 PM
I don't know if it will fit your needs or not...

One way to "launder" money is through legitimate businesses with subjective prices and hefty service fees that may or may not be enforced.

What I mean specifically are businesses like art galleries, rock bands, taverns featuring live acts which are unknown and you can garner a take at the door and cook the books on inflated service fees. Your service agents pay you a large percentage to "claim" the money as income in the form of pay to play/exhibit fees(which you comp them without paper trail). They claim income on the sales and you claim income on the fees. The buyers write off their sales (they're in on the scam) as investments and pocket the payoff you give them. Which could in turn pay for untrackables like drugs or prostitution. (which the racket makes money off of too.) Who's to say two hundred people didn't pay $5 each at the door? You pay the band, the bar, take the "fee" and still come out ahead because you got the door money clean. You take the gallery fee/surcharge in as "overhead" and claim the write off on your taxes. Bonus.

For moving a little extra pocket cash...What about buying the luxuries with the cash? Top shelf booze, "discount" diamond bling, tattoos, new rims for your Toyota, a motor, paint job...paid in cash? Fishy money. No paper trail.

Cleaning a lot of money involves much more organization than a solitary criminal has. That's why there are off-shore bankers who take illegal money and funnel it through the underground system playing with the numbers and investment schemes that aren't tracked until the payout comes from legit sources. (think Russian technology firms that go bankrupt in a year or two - they may have only existed on paper to create a false front for money moving.) The criminal gets pennies on the dollar for the cash, but it's clean. (cleaner) than the stolen money.

(from: http://www.namebase.org/news08.html (http://www.namebase.org/news08.html)) Nor is Russian organized crime the only problem. As European borders loosen and Italy increases pressure on the mafia, southern France is sprouting pizzerias, banks there are winking at money laundering, and smuggling is profuse. Last year a French parliamentarian who denounced organized crime on the Riviera was shot dead in her car. A French parliamentary commission found that organized crime was investing in casinos, golf courses, restaurants, and other premium real estate. [20]

Another way is to involve yourself in non-tracked gambling (where legal). Cash buy in's at offshore poker tournaments. Rigged floating games. That sort of thing.

Buy stolen weapons, sell them to terrorists with banking ties in Libya.

It's a global economy.... *sigh* I should have listened to Don "Henry" and ran that art gallery for him in New York.

Overkill
01-01-2009, 10:58 PM
In theory, you could go ahead and have a computer guru and hacker create an off-shore poker site much like Pokerstars.net or the others and use the cash as buy-ins and setting up accounts to play poker online for cash and then have the site rigged of course, where the winning payouts show up as direct deposits into legitimate banking accounts?

Does that make sense?

jclarkdawe
01-01-2009, 11:43 PM
In theory, you could go ahead and have a computer guru and hacker create an off-shore poker site much like Pokerstars.net or the others and use the cash as buy-ins and setting up accounts to play poker online for cash and then have the site rigged of course, where the winning payouts show up as direct deposits into legitimate banking accounts?

Does that make sense?

Sort of, but you're making it a lot harder than you need to. Any transaction in the US involving more than $10,000 has to be reported to the government (there's a special form for this). If you want to make your life real interesting, go down to your local car dealership and pay cash. To do what you're suggesting, you'd have to smuggle the money out of the US, as you're not going to be able to go to banks.

Let's start with the physical problem. Let's say that the total take is one million dollars, all in twenties. That would be 50,000 bills. Hundred dollar bills bring this down to 10,000 bills, only marginally better and a lot harder to deal with. People remember hundreds.

And of course you think the government has all the numbers. That means when the cash hits certain points in they system, people will notice it. So the trick is to dump a lot of cash, probably on a Saturday (people who notice this stuff don't always work on weekends). You've got to give a good chunk of time before you try unloading, like a year or more.

You go to a place where a lot of cash is transferred quickly. In other words, gambling. You go to a place (either track or casino) and start gambling. You dump in $5,000 lots and try to dump maybe $50k to $100k. At the end of the day, you cash out.

Now you've lost money on the deal. But you've got clean money, instead of dirty. And you've used local transit to get to and from where you've parked your rental car (remember to make sure you haven't parked where survilance cameras are located). You then return your rental to some place several hundred miles from where you gambled.

Because you know that while you were gambling your picture was taken. Repeatedly. What you don't want is for them to be able to match your photo with your I.D. Of course if you've been convicted of a crime, your mug shoot is in the system.

Repeat as many times as needed, in different locations. It will probably take you two years to dump the cash. At the end, you'll have clean money, and if you're lucky, have about half of it left. Deposit it slowly into a bank, transferring it slowly out of the country.

Even if you go overseas with the dirty cash, when the money hits banks it will be randomly checked.

Or you sell the dirty cash to a profession laundry service, usually at about 10% to 25% of the total value.

Bottom line is that it's hard to get rid of cash, which is exactly the point of all the government regulations.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

She_wulf
01-02-2009, 12:31 AM
one problem with that... local transit buses have video surveillance. Baltimore and DC for example have video equipped buses. I'm not so certain the MegaBus to NYC is video taped though. Anyone?

From there you can get to Atlantic City and dump in one of the off-boardwalk casinos where they're not as picky as say, Caesars or Trump.

Of course, you might just get lucky there(off boardwalk) and find the NJ connection to the laundry man. Just remember, don't take any scenic car rides with them to the North Jersey marshes...'kay?

Amy

Overkill
01-02-2009, 08:38 AM
thanks for all the helpful suggestions. I found my answer as to what is going to happen.

The currency is going to be drug money that was stolen by a group of conspirators. They are going to take the currency and first sit on it a bit. Then they are going to take the currency in smaller amounts to a peso broker in mexico who will then filter that money to people who will use it to purchase good from tbhe united states to sell in mexico or columbia, using the proceeds to pay the peso broker who found them thbe currency. The broker then takes his commission and the rest goes back to the originators as pesos and they can either exchange it or deposit it in banks.

Mac H.
01-02-2009, 10:32 AM
For a one-off, I'd use a casino.

And since there is record of transactions above $10k, I'd use it to my advantage.

Go to the casino and get $9.5k worth of chips. Have a few drinks, play around a bit. Nothing major.

Do that 20 times.

Then, on your last time, I'd go to my local bank branch first and take out $15k from my normal account. This is recorded and traced.

Go the casino and get $15k worth of chips. This is recorded and traced.

Play around for a while, then cash in my $200k worth of chips I've accumulated.

This is recorded and traced.

Bingo - I now have a paper trail showing exactly how I got that $200k.

Yeah, it wouldn't work with a big payoff, or regular payoffs, but for a simple one-off, that'd be what I do.

For something larger, I'd do what others suggest and have a small art gallery. Enough would be bought and sold at reasonable margins.

Then I'd buy some cheap pictures, and make sure I have receipts for them. I'd pay, say, $40 each for say 20 artworks. I'd then burn the artworks.

I'd then have few fake random customers who then pay $9k each for them, and who pay cash. Each fake transaction would then 'launder' $9k of cash each time ... at a cost of only $40.

You could do that indefinitely .. there would be know way of showing that they weren't genuine sales.

Good luck!

Mac

Phoebe H
01-02-2009, 10:54 AM
I'd then have few fake random customers who then pay $9k each for them, and who pay cash. Each fake transaction would then 'launder' $9k of cash each time ... at a cost of only $40.

By the way, I expect that this is where you'd get caught. It's very hard to fake that many customers without falling into a pattern as to how you set them up, and that means that if someone starts auditing the sales, they can really stand out -- probably for some really inconsequential reason, but once you've caused someone to start scrutinizing them, you're in for some trouble.

I say this because I caught an embezzler once who was doing something very similar. She made a very small mistake on one of the fake sales, which caused me to scrutinize it, and once I did that it caused me to make a quick check on all transactions of that type, at which point the embezzlement became obvious. And of course, I wasn't even looking for anything like that, I was just trying to plug an apparent hole in our inventory tracking system.

GavinPreacher
01-02-2009, 04:53 PM
The Art Gallery thing is kind of interesting, or even another business. I get lost on how the art gallery deal would work. Do you go ahead and use the dirty cash to open one? Do you just take the cash and go and buy art? I need a bit more explanation on that one.

But i still am intrigued by the idea i mentioned of using a peso broker in Mexico. Go there and give the money to the broker who then deals with an importer wanting to buy US goods. The importer gets the cash and buys black market goods and brings them back to Mexico. Upon sale of goods, he reimburses the peso broker the cash and the broker gets his cut and the originator gets pesos back where they can take and exchange for real clean cash.

Even off site gambling stuff is interesting here.

Mac H.
01-03-2009, 04:29 PM
By the way, I expect that this is where you'd get caught.Oh - I'd definitely get caught. I'd probably stuff it up in a thousand details. I have enough trouble with my own finances with all my figures being genuine .. I'd totally mix up it up with some of my figures being fake.

However, the beauty of the plan is that no matter how suspicious you are, it would be pretty well impossible to prove it happened. If it were STILL happening when it was investigated, it would show up .. but certainly not for the past events. Any non-random pattern would be just that - just patterns. After all, there aren't any details - no names, no addresses, just cash coming in on dates and amounts.

In your case, there was someone inside (you) who had access to the records and had incentive to find out. Imagine the same situation where nobody had access to the records, or incentive to find out.

That'd be why I'd use something with lots of small cash sales to nameless people, rather than something with fewer (and larger) transactions that would need some details. The more details to fake the more chance to get things wrong.

Gavin, I really don't understand how your method with the Peso dealer would work. The aim of money laundering is so that there is an obviously legal source of your wealth .. and if someone insists on looking at the paperwork, there is a nice papertrail showing that the money is legal.

How would the Peso dealer method work? When someone asks where the money came from, would the guy just say that someone in Mexico gave it to him for no apparent reason?

I'm not sure I can explain the 'art gallery' method any better - the aim is to use a normal business with cash sales and effectively put the money in small lots into the cash-register (perhaps not literally) pretending that they are the results of sales. If the gallery has a good day where the cash register rings up an extra $2000, then the only thing that could trip the bad guy up is the fact that there is no evidence that the $2000 worth of art that you are pretending you sold ever existed.

That's why I chose art - because you can easily show that you really did genuinely pay someone $40 for that artwork. And who is to say that you didn't really sell it to some sucker for $2000?

The business would still need to be bought (or started) with untainted money.

Good luck,

Mac

Smiling Ted
01-03-2009, 06:33 PM
You might consider transferring the money via hawala (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawala).
It's officially illegal in the United States, but still permitted in other countries.

ETA: The problem with starting a business - besides the time it takes to launder the money - is that anywhere but in an utterly failed state, it puts you on the radar. Whether you're fake-selling art or involved in import/export, somebody will be looking at you - through permits, licenses, bank transactions. And because most business owners have a past life that connects them to their choice of business, a money launderer's lack of antecedents is a giveaway. (Not to mention the time and effort involved.) And once someone figures out you're a phony, you're basically asking to be investigated. Any criminal will tell you that "they can't prove a thing" isn't nearly as comforting as "no one suspects a thing."

That's why successful launderers make it a full-time job, launder the money of other folks, and charge through the nose: They've put in the labor to make themselves look sufficiently legit.

rxvenomqueen
01-07-2009, 09:17 AM
By the way, I expect that this is where you'd get caught. It's very hard to fake that many customers without falling into a pattern as to how you set them up, and that means that if someone starts auditing the sales, they can really stand out -- probably for some really inconsequential reason, but once you've caused someone to start scrutinizing them, you're in for some trouble.

I say this because I caught an embezzler once who was doing something very similar. She made a very small mistake on one of the fake sales, which caused me to scrutinize it, and once I did that it caused me to make a quick check on all transactions of that type, at which point the embezzlement became obvious. And of course, I wasn't even looking for anything like that, I was just trying to plug an apparent hole in our inventory tracking system.

I agree with you 100% here...patterns are a huge red flag. And, all it takes is one little teeny tiny transaction to open a whole can of worms. I know this conversation is a few days old, but I found the replies interesting.