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Money Laundering Prevention: Deterring, Detecting, and Resolving Financial Fraud by Jonathan E. Turner

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Chapter 2

Motivations for Getting Involved

Involvement Is Personal

The appeal of money laundering activities is far and wide. Though the traditional perspective is that these activities are limited to the criminal class, the reality is the participants' motivations are as varied as the mechanisms of the schemes themselves. Frankly, the problem is so widespread because the perception is that it is so limited—as long as people are not looking, participants can flourish.

As defined in Chapter 1, the activities that comprise money laundering, while possibly illegal in a given jurisdiction, are business-based activities. They are intended to make the participants money and provide a real return on investment. Thus these activities appeal to both participants seeking to move money undetected and providers seeking to profit from the service.

The participants include the traditional drug dealers and other established criminals who are reluctant to submit to the scrutiny required in modern banking relationships. They are also domestic and commercial litigants seeking to hide assets, tax-averse persons and businesses, corrupt public and private officials seeking to conceal ill-gotten gains, and the like. Each comprises a different class of people who take different paths to the same solution—to move money in secret—and this makes the money laundering process appealing.

These participants have the choice of developing their own laundering program or using a “commercial” money laundering ...

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