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What are the most common signs of money laundering?

On Behalf of | Oct 21, 2021 | White Collar Crimes

Although white-collar crimes aren’t as widely discussed as other types of crimes, they occur all the time. Money laundering is one of the most common. It’s an offense that can significantly affect residents of Oklahoma. There are a few ways to detect money laundering.

What is money laundering?

Money laundering is one of the most common white-collar crimes. A person can commit the crime by making large sums of money through some type of illegal activity that is concealed as something legal. For example, a person may own a legitimate restaurant, but if they are also trafficking drugs on the side and raking in much larger amounts of cash through that, it constitutes money laundering. While the money acquired through the activity is illegal, it appears to be obtained cleanly, hence the term “money laundering.”

There are certain red flags that can show that the crime of money laundering is taking place.

Vague information is given

White-collar crimes like money laundering can be detected through the individual only giving vague information that can’t easily be verified. A person might also appear unwilling to give any information at all. Secretiveness should be considered a red flag.

Irregular transfers and transactions

If there are continuous irregular transfers and transactions of money, it should raise alarms. With white-collar crimes like money laundering, money often changes hands frequently and in odd ways. Accountants might notice that there are new clients with money transfers going to strange locations.

Presence of shell companies

Shell companies are fake businesses that exist only for the purpose of illegal activity. They are a constant in money laundering crimes. When shell companies are present, it should be considered a sign that money laundering is taking place. If a person tries to search a supposed company online and receives no information, it’s a red flag.

Virtual assets

Virtual assets are not commonly used, but if transactions are being converted to them, it’s probably due to money laundering. Money is often withdrawn immediately and then converted into virtual assets. It’s also possible to detect white-collar crimes as small amounts of money are converted instead of large amounts. This is done to conceal the source of the cash.

Sometimes, people arrested and charged with money laundering are innocent and not involved. It can be challenging determining the facts of some of these cases, but those who are clean should do everything to protect their rights.


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