There are conservative estimates that the amount of money laundered each year is anywhere between 2 and 5 percent of the annual gross domestic product of the world economy. That figure in dollars is between $800 billion and $2 trillion in U.S. dollars. Research has shown that the majority of money that is laundered across the globe either enters the United States or comes from the United States. It can be argued that the use of wire transfers is the preferred method used by criminals to move their funds. By using wire transfers it is more difficult for those tasked with prevention and investigation to track the money.
Wire transfers have become the preferred method for criminals to launder money. This is because they are fast, secure and very hard to trace. It is electronically sending cash to another individual or account. It is also easy to initiate a wire transfer. It can be done from a personal computer in a residence or from a public computer. It can be done through an established relationship with a financial institution or by using a wire transfer service such as Western Union or MoneyGram. It can be sent to another account or sent to an individual for immediate pick-up depending upon the type of service a person chooses to use.
This paper researches the argument that there is complicity within the wire transfer system that has supported this method for illegal activity and money laundering. The research argues that given the lack of effort by financial institutions and Federal regulations and enforcement efforts this activity will continue to increase. There have been successful efforts employed to reduce money laundering through wire transfers. These methods have not been embraced by the larger community of enforcement officials nor the Federal Government.
By using proven methods and analyzing trends and data within the wire transfer process an effective set of tools can be deployed by regulators, investigators and financial institutions to mitigate money laundering.
|Department:||Economic Crime Management|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||MAI 53/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Economics, Finance, Criminology|
|Keywords:||Economic crime, Money laundering|
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