I note here: there will be homework, because seriously, you’ve gotta have basics.
Do the reading. I’m not sending you at books, just articles. I’ll screenshot if it comes from a high word count source.
legal obligations such as payroll taxes
Obscuring the documentation of income from illegal actions or sources.
It’s a crime of its own, but money laundering is what makes crime pay.
Assuming Joe doesn’t get busted, this can continue indefinitely as long as they keep trusting each other.
This is kindergarten level money laundering, but it works if neither one gets greedy, stupid, or paranoid.
The small businesses most likely to be involved in this retail level of money laundering are similar: high turnover, low inventory, mostly cash based, service industries.
Above that, there’s business service laundries - trash haulers, accounts receivable financing (think payday loan for business), construction, contracting.
The clean money is the product; it’s just dirty paper when it enters the laundry, because it cannot be spent for real property.
Gold because it’s fungible - it’s hard to trace & pretty compact.
Oil, diamonds, 500€ notes & US $100s too, for same reason.
First reading assignment: https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/gold-africa-smuggling/
You can use this primer on the Panama Papers as a start point, but Wyoming & South Dakota LLCs are also part of the shell process, too. Often US shells are quite effective end-stage laundries.
2nd reading: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2016/apr/03/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-panama-papers
For an investor, it makes sense to isolate a project in its own corp, because if the project goes bust, those injured can only get that project’s assets, not everything.
Set up enough nested shells in various jurisdictions? Anyone trying to sue is going to have to contend with the courts in multiple states/nations, and probably won’t have the money to keep going.
The Trumps use this *frequently*.
Alas, most of the developed world treats financial crime as a civil matter. It’s rare to see execs go to prison for wage theft, malfeasance or selling junk products.
Because the people who wrote the laws didn’t want their own profitable behavior criminalized.
I present lobbying at work. See: the NRA got legislation that makes it illegal to sue gun manufacturers for selling deadly products.
It’s the long-term holding instrument. Proceeds from real estate (rent, capital gains when sold) are clean — that money can be traced to people with alibis.
Half-laundered cash can pay that loan back. As long as you can fake a paper trail, the bank will probably take it.
See Manafort, Paul https://theintercept.com/2017/10/30/paul-manafort-money-laundering-scheme-was-identified-months-ago/
Because Iran, Turkey, Russia & Trump are what happens when the #MoneyLaundry goes multinational.
This has been about survival for Iran — there’s some stuff every nation must import and Iran has been barred from most legitimate trade.
And https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-7-4-tons-of-venezuelas-gold-landed-in-africaand-vanished-11560867792 (paywall)
(Also see the Kingstons. There’s gold in them thar polygamists and their biodiesel scam & their We Buy Gold storefronts...)
Babek Zanjani, an Iranian businessman currently imprisoned in Iran on corruption charges and connected to Turkey’s massive 2013 graft case, has confessed that his company brought 1.5 tons of gold...http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/imprisoned-iranian-businessman-confesses-to-gold-trade-through-turkey--91612
(The history of the US conflict with Iran is goes back to the 50s, but the regional history? Start in the Roman Empire.)
Here’s the important part.
Western Europe gets about half its oil & most of its natural gas through the Black Sea, Turkey & the Mediterranean.
It’s always cheaper to ship by water than over land.
Because it gives Moscow access to the Black Sea via the Sea of Azov. (The Don river flows into Azov, is navigable to within 100 miles of Moscow; there’s rail & road already built.)
And it cuts eastern Ukraine off from that same tiny passage .
Russian oil/gas is expensive to produce, still using old tech.
It’s like Joe’s problem above of paying his daughter’s tuition, except on a nation-state level.
The EU forced Cyprus to fix it, and Cyprus is now on their way to being less crime-y. https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/9851-sources-cypriot-police-raid-bank-in-money-laundering-probe
Cypriot police raided on Friday the premises of FBME Bank in Nicosia and in Limassol, looking for evidence of money laundering, two sources told OCCRP.https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/9851-sources-cypriot-police-raid-bank-in-money-laundering-probe
Now Russia & Turkey didn’t used to get along. Long running bicker with occasional fist fights is the *best* characterization. (Russo-Turkish wars - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russo-Turkish_War_%281877–1878%29 )
But they’ve now got financial interests in common, called Cyprus.
In Limassol, on the southern coast of Cyprus, shop signs in Cyrillic outnumber those in Greek. Yachts emblazoned with Russian monikers fill berths in a newly built marina. And just past the office ofhttps://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/eu-passports-for-sale-in-sunny-cyprus-lure-rich-russians-and-their-cash-a7732326.html
Greece and Cyprus disagree.
They’ve been fighting over it since... at least 1571, but you could go back to Athens, Sparta & Peloponnesian Wars and few people would object.
(Arid climates — lots of war over water & the products of water.)
Dictators dream big.
They’ve become allies now mostly *because* of sanctions — USSR wasn’t a fan of religious extremists; Russia isn’t a fan of Islam; Iran doesn’t like state atheism or Russian Orthodoxy.
They’ve found a trade alliance they can make work.
Russia and Iran both have reasons for resenting Saudi Arabia that are mostly about oil and/or water, but the religious divide is a huge issue.
Germany, in control of EU funds, can be shitty towards Turkey. 2 years ago: https://www.dw.com/en/turkey-angela-merkel-calls-for-reduced-eu-funds/a-41038798
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for the EU to cut funding for Turkey linked to its bid to join the bloc. While raising concerns about the rule of law in the country, she praised Ankara's...https://www.dw.com/en/turkey-angela-merkel-calls-for-reduced-eu-funds/a-41038798
But they fight over it.
Right now? It’s also water rights, which climate change is exacerbating, and oil, which is ending.
Then there’s the Trump Casino and the real estate.
The president has long sold himself as a self-made billionaire, but a Times investigation found that he received at least $413 million in today’s dollars from his father’s real estate empire, much of...https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/10/02/us/politics/donald-trump-tax-schemes-fred-trump.html
See: Kingstons https://write.as/czedwards/a-case-study-in-a-vertically-integrated-moneylaundry
The Kingstons, the polygamists that Big Love toned down to make them believeable for TV. Also featuring Turkish and Russian costars. Terminology note: when I refer to the established Chu...https://write.as/czedwards/a-case-study-in-a-vertically-integrated-moneylaundry
You send some mooks in to *lose* money at the tables - they play stupid blackjack/craps/roulette. Their job is to lose to the house.
See: Poles, concrete
Papers in a lawsuit involving work by illegal immigrants on Trump Tower’s site, sealed since 1998, were unsealed by a judge last week.https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/27/nyregion/trump-tower-illegal-immigrant-workers-union-settlement.html
Which is also how you get people like Sheldon Adelson & Steve Wynn in the Trump orbit — they’ve all got laundry interests to protect.
Oil money is a major revenue source.
They’re like Joe and Bill keeping Joe’s mortgage paid and the sandwich shop open by cooperating to mutual profit.
PALM BEACH, Fla. — Why did a Russian oligarch pay now-President Donald Trump $95 million for his Palm Beach mansion? Almost a decade later, the answer is less clear than it was at the time of the...https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/why-did-a-russian-pay-95m-to-buy-trumps-palm-beach-mansion/
the weird side gigs... (Vodka, water, steaks, MLMs, scam “education”... )
— the things they all have in common are:
Puffery about actual financial status.
As part of a new deal, Trump SoHo will no longer bear the Trump name, but the Trump Organization will still get a share of its revenue.https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-soho-has-a-sordid-history-highlights-photos-2017-11
But the complexity is also the massive amounts of money — hundreds of billions, if not trillions. While it’s mostly securitized debt, it also represents power & score keeping.
Plus a metric shit-ton of foreign aid & investment.
We’re all fossil fuel addicts.
Count how many things are made of plastic just within your line of vision. Don’t forget upholstery, carpet, laminate floors, elastic clothes, keyboards, your corrective lenses.
Yer a junkie, Harry.
It’s outside of functional scope.
It took me all afternoon to give the Twitter version. This isn’t easy.
The tools of money laundering are also the tools of business.
Money laundering exists when the financial laws are written to be weak.
Sometimes the turf war is over an acre of Las Vegas. Sometimes it’s over the entire Tigris-Euphrates watershed.
Mostly it’s fought with lawyers, but also guns.
Previous episodes of the Money Laundry can be found here:
Money Laundering with Jason Mendoza
Real Estate Scams: Mitt Romney vs Veronica Mars
And under the hashtag, #MoneyLaundry https://twitter.com/CZEdwards/status/1089340995731304450
I write stories about war and money and love and not giving into the despair of greed and hate.
Kingdom always free, NO DRM, at Smashwords
Repudiation & Refuge: http://amazon.com/dp/B07GTQFDGW
The Committed Ones: http://amazon.com/dp/B07HHYK1CB
Wisdom’s Fire: http://amazon.com/dp/B07JKJ1NH4
Redemption & Revolution: http://amazon.com/dp/B07KJF2JPH
Erdogan wanting a new Ottoman Empire?
Well, what we call Libya was part of that Empire.
From WSJ, since they paywall & I only get to see it through my news reader...
(Don’t do this.)
(Just take it to a tax attorney and pay your lump sum. You will live comfortably for life.)
(Don’t be Bonehead.)