The term "money laundering" can invoke images of organized crime mobsters engaged in activities such as taking over businesses and using them to hide ill-gotten funds derived from other illegal activities. That may, indeed, be one example of money laundering in practice, but money laundering can include many different kinds of activities some of which may be less obvious than the previous example.
The integration of digital communications into the daily lives of many Americans has arguably been one of the drivers behind the increases in worker productivity in this country. But the same technological advances that can boost the profitability of a business or make anything from shopping to banking more convenient can also create opportunities for less savory activities.
The spiritual leader of Syrian Jews in the United States, Brooklyn, New York was sentenced to two years' house arrest in June 2011. They were one of 46 defendants, including three rabbis, charged as a result of a federal sting in New Jersey's biggest corruption case. Originally charged with money laundering, the defendant pled guilty to a reduced charge of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.
Over the past several years, there has been increasing concern over the threat of international money laundering operations that allow criminals to move billions of dollars illegally overseas and out of the reach of their victims. Gilbert Chikli is one of the most notorious financial con men to date, godfather of the 'Fake CEO' scam that allowed him to steal more than 8 million Euros from many of the largest corporations in the world. Despite being convicted of fraud among other things, and sentenced to seven years in a French prison, Chikli is still living freely in Israel today.