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There is a very famous monologue from a not-so-famous TV series that is still very popular and widely shared out of context – ‘America is not the greatest country in the world anymore!’. But one line precedes the catchy declaration: The first step in solving a problem is recognising there is one. Using that little ledge and twisting it further a bit – we also need to understand problems before we act on them. Which is why, the following lecture on Money Laundering Basics, delivered by Professor Barren Wuffett in a parallel universe, is a pretty decent starting point.

Have you watched any of these – Ozarks, The Wolf of Wall Street, Margin Call, Money Monster, or even Breaking Bad?

If your answer is yes, then you must have heard this one term which is extensively used in all of them: money laundering. Now, if you are a finance aficionado whose idea of fun is to study the NASDAQ Glossary, then feel free to leave this class and come back next semester for my advanced course. But if you are someone who has a basic understanding of how the economy, banks and governments work, and you want to learn a totally legitimate (legitimacy, after all, is subjective) method of getting rich quick then you have come to the right place. Today you are going to learn how to launder money, avoid taxes and accumulate your wealth.

Alright, to launder money you need to follow 3 basic steps:

1. Placement:

Placement is where “illegally” obtained money is made to seem legitimate and converted into assets. This is often done by depositing money into bank accounts. But this is the trickiest step in the whole process. Since a huge influx of cash into the economy raises a lot of red flags, you can’t just waltz into the bank and deposit a boatload of cash; this needs to be done in small amounts and these small amounts need to come from a legitimate cash heavy front where the illegitimate funds can be mixed with the legitimate funds and then deposited into the bank.

These funds can also be deposited into a bank account registered to an anonymous corporation or a professional middleman. If you want to open a company do it in a country where the owners are kept hidden and with strict privacy laws such as Switzerland or countries which people wouldn’t think of easily such as Maldives or Cayman Islands. You can find helpful resources in the Panama Papers section of the library.

Once the deposits have been made we proceed to the next step:

2. Layering

Layering is the process of furthering the money from its origin using multiple transactions. This can be done through transfers from different accounts or purchase of tradable assets such as expensive cars, artwork which everyone pretends to understand or real estate. One of the best ways to layer your money is to go to a casino or better yet open one up. The sole reason for going to a casino is a)the house always wins and b) casinos are operations where large sums of money change hands every second. Additionally the money which you want to “gamble” can be made available at different locations very easily, there is also an option to “work” with employees to rig games.

In addition to spending money you also need to have another layer of protection by hiring some people to act as the owners and/or directors of the company. It would still be you who runs and owns the company. But in case someone comes snooping around then they would not be able to differentiate the person who actually runs the company. According to the official paperwork and records they would be the owners of the company. Moreover, it is extremely easy to find people to do this job since there are companies who specialise in providing people for this job, the added benefit is that this process is completely legal!

It is also recommended that you open up a front in an above-board city to avoid suspicions by the government.

There is one step before the final one and that is opening up a company in the country that you reside in. This should be done to funnel back the money you have laundered to utilize for spending as required. To do this you can go to the corporate registry or employ another company known as a company service provider to do so. These service providers can fill out all the paperwork for you and even forgo identity proofs on the basis of a “mutual understanding”.

Once you register this company, open a bank account in its name, each continent has one or the other country/area where opening a bank account is extremely easy where minimal questions are asked.

The last step, Step 3 is Integration:

3. Integration

The last step integration allows money to re-enter the economy and be of benefit to you. From here on out you can invest it into a legitimate/legal business. After this you can receive payments using fake invoices or increasing the sales made by the company. If you don’t feel like running a company you could also start a bogus charity and place yourself on the board of directors and pay yourself an extravagant salary.

Once you’re done with the following steps you’ll be able to conceal your identity behind a shell company. Now no one needs to know what you’re doing with your “legally” earned money. One thing to note now is that the other players who are engaged in generating legally earned money through drug trafficking, protection rackets, you can earn millions and pay no taxes on this money.

Alright, that’s the first lesson in money laundering. You can contact me on the dark web from 11AM-3PM on Tuesdays, those are my office hours.

By Rishabh Khetawat

For those who are left scratching their heads, a simple disclaimer: This article is satirical. The Finance and Investment, Cell, SRCC, and its members do not engage in or promote money-laundering or associated activities in any manner whatsoever. Money-laundering is a serious criminal offense and the article is an attempt to explain the basics of the activity in a humorous way.


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