Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Legal Thriller Book Author Reveals: The Workings of Money Laundering

--Money laundering, a dangerous game, goes far beyond relatively non-violent con man activity

Magalia, California--The recruitment of new money-laundering agents by the "bad guys" is an ongoing process. It must be. The need is huge. risks big. casualties many, turnover great. A continual need for new sources, thus, exists. And, new agents , too, to wash the funds. Employees of certain businesses and institutions are in the highest-risk category to be recruited.

Which businesses, institutions?

Prime targets: banks, gambling casinos, amusement parks, and hedge funds. The first three because they deal daily with humungous amounts of cash. And the last, hedge funds, not only because of the mountainous sums of money they manage, but because of their highly secretive operating nature.

What is money laundering anyway?

"Simply put," according to legal thriller author, Jack Payne, former editor / publisher of Business Opportunities Digest, "you've got to understand that the need to 'legalize' the money, by corrupt politicians, criminal syndicates, terrorists, embezzlers, con artists, and public officials, is great. Otherwise, it connects them back to the illegal activities in which they are engaged. The logistical problems created by their all-cash business creates this need. This is why the constant search for new sources--'placement,' the first stage-- goes ever-on."

And, how do you spot such probes to pump you for information, steer you, even recruit you?

"One example: the new bank customer, playing word games, getting overly-friendly with a teller. On repeat visits, a flow of seemingly off-the-cuff questions and observations from the gregarious customer: Gosh, how much cash do you handle in a day? (A quick multiplication question designed to estimate overall cash flow); I see that Brinks truck in the parking lot--how often do you get visits from them? (To confirm cash flow, and trace monthly and seasonal patterns.); I'll bet you have a special 'in' with the back room here, maybe even with the bank manager. (An attempt to determine how high up the ladder the teller's personal network of workplace friendships rise.

"In addition to probing for cash volume, the purpose is to find a 'soft spot,' the person close to the top of the management ladder who can be staked out. Simple bribery may be the route to take. It may require more: finding skeletons in a closet, intimidation, threats. Whatever it takes

"Big thing to remember," concludes Payne, "is if you think you've brushed elbows with a money launderer, don't be a hero.

"Money laundering is big, often world-wide. It's dangerous, dead serious stuff. Sounding off about it in public would be like getting your horn stuck while driving behind a gang of Hell's Angels. Leave family, friends, co-workers, and others out of this loop. Protect them, as well as yourself. There is only one course of action to take with such information: First clam up, than get it to your nearest FBI office. Do it yesterday."

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