Money laundering happens in nearly every country in the world. The rise
in global financial markets over the years has made money laundering easier
than ever, especially with countries’ bank-secrecy laws directly
connected to countries with bank-reporting laws. In its simplest form,
money laundering is the practice of taking money from one source and making
it look like it came from another source. Maryland residents accused of
this and other types of
cyber crimes should retain counsel immediately.
The basic money laundering crime has three steps—placement, layering,
and integration. At the placement stage, the money launderer inserts the
dirty money into a legitimate financial institution. This commonly occurs
in the form of
cash bank deposits. Moving large amounts of cash is generally conspicuous
and banks are required to report high-value transactions, so this initial
stage is fairly risky.
During the layering phase, the money launderer sends money through various
financial transactions to change its form and make it difficult to follow
the trail. This stage may consist of several bank-to-bank transfers, wire
transfers between different accounts in different names in different countries,
and making deposits and withdrawals to continually vary the amount of
money in the accounts. This stage is the most complex of a laundering
cyber crime, as it is designed to make the original dirty money as difficult
to trace as possible.
At the integration stage, money re-enters the mainstream economy in legitimate-looking
form. This gives the appearance of a legal transaction. Sometimes, this
stage involves a final bank transfer into the account of a local business
in which the launderer is investing in exchange for a portion of the profits.
At this stage of the cyber attack, the launderer can use the money without
getting caught. Money laundering is common in drug trafficking and terrorist
activities, as well as in white collar crimes. In the United States, the
Department of Justice, the State Department and the Federal Bureau of
Investigation all have divisions for handling cyber crime. However, financial
systems play a major role in most high-level laundering schemes, so global
financial systems also play a part.