The definition of money laundering has changed over the years. It used to mean the money earned by organised criminals only. Money laundering today still means the act of a person gaining money through a criminal organisation. This could be terrorist activity, criminal profits or the act of paying other people to commit crimes for you. However, it can also mean somebody who evades tax or who has fake accounting records.
The main thing to keep in mind is that anybody who is charged with money laundering has gained money in an illegal way.
Who Monitors Money Laundering?
There are a number of pieces of Legislation which governs how money laundering is handled and they include:
- The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
- The Terrorism Act 2000
- Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005
- The Anti-Terrorist Crime and Security Act 2001
- Secondary Regulation: Money Laundering Regulations 2003 & 2007.
The sad truth is that money laundering is a serious problem which is very hard to tackle. The financial motivation that criminals have far outweighs the low levels of recovery. It is typically the forensic accountant that has the job of analyzing financial evidence. They will draw up reports of their findings and they may even testify in court as an expert witness.
Of course in some cases organisations can accidentally become a victim of money laundering. A forensic accountant will advise the organisation on the impact of Money Laundering Regulations. If a mistake is made then the person responsible could end up serving a very long prison sentence if they were to be found guilty in court.
Overall Money Laundering is a serious crime and it is a big problem within the UK. It is often the basis for other more serious crimes too. After all, there would be very little point of doing a crime if there was no financial gain involved.