By Roma Blackham, Marketing —
Desperate people do desperate things, especially when drugs are involved. Illegal drug dealers and traffickers depend on secrecy to maintain their lifestyle. The large incomes they are bringing into their bank accounts could potentially raise suspicions from the authorities. So, in an effort to hide and keep their wealth, drug traffickers launder their money. It’s one way launderers try to keep fraudulent money under the radar.
Hiding Their Tracks
After trying to hide the money they gained by trafficking cocaine, fifteen men from Texas and Oklahoma were arrested not only for drug trafficking charges but also for money laundering. These men attempted to hide the funds through purchasing land and other assets such as horses. When purchasing the horses they made multiple payments under $10,000, which allowed them to avoid filling out an IRS tax form that could have raised suspicions about the source of their income. Since the investigation started, officials have confiscated over $500,000 in farming equipment, $50,000 in cash, over thirty horses, and over 100kg of cocaine.
Not only are the fifteen men being indicted for money laundering and drug trafficking, but they are also being indicted for wire fraud. This wire fraud also negatively affected financial institutions when they refinanced a $1.7 million note several times after falsely saying that they had a non-taxable income of $500,000.
Financial Institutions Are Losing
The last part of the crime—the wire fraud—had detrimental consequences for the financial institutions involved. In cases like this where large amounts of money are involved, it might be helpful for banks to use additional means to ensure the trustworthiness of their clients. Not only did the bank lose money in this case, but it also lost its credibility.