By Jeff Pizzino, APR, Corporate Communications –
Money laundering is when money made from criminal activities is used fraudulently in legitimate business to insert the cash or assets into the market. As such, many criminals engage in money-laundering activities without detection — as their money is simply transferred through a bank or through other hands and cannot be traced back to the source.
Use of Money Laundering in Government
One particularly tragic money laundering scheme occurs when a public official or government officer abuses power or seeks wealth by getting involved. According to a July 2014 report by Jason Buch with the San Antonio Express-News, former governor Eugenio Hernández Flores of Mexican state Tamaulipas has been accused by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of money laundering in Texas.
Hernández Flores, through the Los Zetas drug cartel, received bribes while in office between 2005 and 2010. It was discovered he effectively wired money between Mexico and Texas for other individuals in an effort to cover up the origin of the money.
In addition, former governor Tomás Yarrington Ruvalcaba, also of the state of Tamaulipas, was accused of money laundering as well as drug trafficking and racketeering in the years preceding Hernández’s term of office. Yarrington Ruvalcaba reportedly used the illegal funds to purchase homes, land, an apartment and a condo, and he’s now a fugitive awaiting extradition from Mexico.
Consequences of Money Laundering
Not only does money laundering affect the individuals involved, but it also can compromise revenue and other businesses or individuals who handle the funds without knowledge of the source of the money. The legal implications are vast, and more significantly, criminal activities are hidden from sight.
Money laundering is a way of covering up the crime as though there was no crime committed. Thus, the criminal is never caught and therefore is free to continue behaving badly. The cycle is perpetuated and violence and crime are increased. As evidence of this cycle, Tamaulipas is a highly dangerous area of Mexico due in large part to this criminal activity assisted by money laundering through government officials.
Combatting Money Laundering
Many money laundering activities make it difficult to find legal evidence against criminals. One potential method to subvert such activities would be to conduct ongoing lie detection tests of public officials.
EyeDetect™ technology can identify deception and fraud with 85 percent accuracy. The behavior of human eyes reflects signs of stress and deception that are undetectable by other humans — but it’s detected by this new lie detection method. If the EyeDetect technology is implemented, corrupt officials, employees, or criminals can be caught based on completely unbiased mathematical data generated from the behavior of their eyes.
This means that corrupt government officials could be caught early on and stopped before crimes occur.