Article: Cleaning House: Combatting Money Laundering

Article - Media, Publications

Cleaning House: Combatting Money Laundering

Martin Cheek, 02 June 2021

Money laundering, for the general public, is the stuff of gritty dramas like Ozark or the notorious dealings of Pablo Escobar and El Chapo. In popular culture, it is depicted as an activity to be done in the dark of night with neatly-stacked wads of cash deposited into duffel bags. The reality, however, is much more banal, with most money laundering occurring in the guise of an unremarkable series of transactions designed to obfuscate the trail for any who might be inclined to investigate.

The real estate sector has long been a favorite of money launderers, as the lack of regulation and use of shell companies have enabled them to “wash” a large quantity of cash through the system in one transaction. The truth is that nobody really knows how much money is laundered through real estate—not least because much of it currently goes undetected. This opacity might serve shady operators well, but it can have catastrophic effects on the rest of the economy, as the 2008 housing crisis demonstrated all too devastatingly. Continue reading “Article: Cleaning House: Combatting Money Laundering”

Article: PayThink The pandemic has given launderers a new window

Article - Media, Publications

PayThink The pandemic has given launderers a new window

Martin Cheek, 11 May 2021

The shift to digital has also made it simpler for people to find ways to game the system and commit fraud, money laundering, and other illegal activities.

Thanks to the coronavirus, the vast majority of us now spend more time online than ever. Tasks that we once performed in person, such as going to the grocery store or buying stamps, are now done in the comfort of our own homes. Even going to the bank has become a virtual process, with more and more people opting to deposit checks and manage investments directly from their mobile phones. Continue reading “Article: PayThink The pandemic has given launderers a new window”