***** Dirty Dealing: The Untold Truth About Global Money Laundering, International Crime and Terrorism, 3rd Edition. By Peter Lilley; published by Kogan Page, www.koganpage.com (Web); 220 pages; $22.50.
Money laundering has become one of the most profitable criminal enterprises in the world. Author Peter Lilley estimates that it is as high as $2 trillion per year, based on United Nations and International Monetary Fund statistics. While the practice has historically been associated with the narcotics trade and traditional organized crime, since 9-11 attention has turned to its role in terrorist financing.
Defining money laundering is difficult. Lilley, however, provides a comprehensive working definition. The term was coined in the 1920s when criminal groups passed their money through front businesses that included laundromats and car washes. The process has evolved immensely, while the financial world’s move into cyberspace has magnified and complicated the problem. Today criminals use all manner of physical and virtual enterprises and all types of financial transactions to process their money. Everything from insurance policies to real estate transactions can be the tools of money launderers. The list is endless, and growing.
Lilley outlines the three basic stages of money laundering: placement—placing the money in financial institutions, layering—spreading the money through the use of wires and purchase of various investment products, and integration—buying real estate, various luxury assets, and business ventures.
An entire section of the book is devoted to terrorist financing. Since 9-11, Lilley notes, the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has issued eight recommendations to address terrorist financing. Most notable, and disconcerting because of its vagueness, is FATF’s recommendation that nations simply criminalize terrorist financing.
Overall, Dirty Dealing is well-written and interesting. Each chapter illustrates concepts and includes examples from real cases of laundering incidents. This book is highly recommended to any investigator or security practitioner, but it would be especially enlightening for readers unfamiliar with the complexities of money laundering.
Reviewer: Adrian A. Barnie, CPP, CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), CAMS (Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist), is with the Anti-Money Laundering Unit of Key Bank’s Financial Intelligence Unit in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a member of ASIS.