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The Complex Mechanics of Money Laundering

Carole Switzer | February 26, 2013

In Hollywood, money launderers tend to operate in an audience-friendly way; viewers can easily peer into their clever but not overly complex schemes. In Steven Spielberg's movie “Catch Me if You Can,” we watch raptly as Leonardo DiCaprio's phony pilot launders his ill-gotten gains by swiping a Pan Am logo from a toy model, affixing it to a check and then sweet-talking his deposit past the cute bank teller's initial suspicions.

Reality is far more unstable and complex, staggeringly so when it comes to money laundering. This poses major challenges to those responsible for anti-money laundering (AML) programs in companies that are required to comply with numerous AML rules and regulations.

The gritty reality is that the intense complex­ity and fluid nature of money laundering requires companies to implement and maintain an AML capability that operates as a finely tuned, powerful and efficient engine. A rigorous AML program that is flexible enough to adapt to new...

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