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As one of the most notorious gangsters in history,
Al Capone presided over a vast and profitable empire of organized crime.
When he was finally put on trial,
the most he could be convicted of was tax evasion.
The nearly $100 million a year,
that's 1.4 billion in today's currency,
that Capone had earned from illegal gambling,
bootlegging,
brothels,
and extortion,
would have served as evidence of his crimes.
But the money was nowhere to be found.
Capone and his associates had hidden it through investments in various businesses
whose ultimate ownership couldn't be proven,
like cash-only laundromats.
In fact, those laundromats are part of the reason for the name of this activity,
money laundering.
Money laundering came to be the term for any process
that cleans illegally obtained funds of their dirty criminal origins,
allowing them to be used within the legal economy.
But Capone wasn't the first to launder money.
In fact, this practice is about as old as money itself.
Merchants hid their riches from tax collecters,
and pirates sought to sell their bounty without drawing attention
to how they got it.
With the recent arrival of virtual currencies,
offshore banking,
the darknet,
and global markets,
schemes have become much more complex.
Although modern money laundering methods vary greatly,
most share three basic steps:
placement,
layering,
and integration.
Placement is where illegally obtained money is converted into assets
that seem legitimate.
That's often done by depositing funds into a bank account
registered to an anonymous corporation or a professional middleman.
This step is where criminals are often most vulnerable to detection
since they introduce massive wealth into the financial system
seemingly out of nowhere.
The second step, layering, involves using multiple transactions
to further distance the funds from their origin.
This can take the form of transfers between multiple accounts,
or the purchase of tradable property,
like expensive cars,
artwork,
and real estate.
Casinos, where large sums of money change hands every second,
are also popular venues for layering.
A money launderer may have their gambling balance made available
at a casino chain's locations in other countries,
or work with employees to rig games.
The last step, integration, allows clean money to re-enter the mainstream economy
and to benefit the original criminal.
They might invest it into a legal business
claiming payment by producing fake invoices,
or even start a bogus charity,
placing themselves on the board of directors
with an exorbitant salary.
Money laundering itself
wasn't officially recognized as a federal crime in the United States until 1986.
Before that point, the government needed to prosecute a related crime,
like tax evasion.
>From 1986 on, they could confiscate wealth simply by demonstrating
that concealment had occurred,
which had a positive effect on prosecuting major criminal operations,
like drug traffickers.
However, a legal shift has raised concerns
involving privacy and government surveillance.
Today, the United Nations,
national governments,
and various nonprofits
fight against money laundering,
yet the practice continues to play a major role in global crime.
And the most high-profile instances of money laundering
have involved not just private individuals,
but major financial institutions and government officials.
No one knows for sure the total amount of money
that's laundered on a yearly basis,
but some organizations estimate it to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars.
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【TED-Ed】告訴你洗錢是怎麼運作的 (How does money laundering work? - Delena D. Spann)

489 分類 收藏
Jenny 發佈於 2017 年 8 月 28 日

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View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-does-mo...\n\nMoney laundering is the term for any process that “cleans” illegally obtained funds of their “dirty” criminal origins, allowing them to be used within the legal economy. And the practice is about as old as money itself. But how does it actually work? Delena D. Spann describes the ins and outs of money laundering. \n\nLesson by Delena D. Spann, animation by Juan M. Urbina.

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