One type of financial crime in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and around the country is money laundering. Statistics show how big of an issue money laundering is.
Money laundering overview
Money laundering is a white-collar criminal offense that involves hiding illegally obtained money to make it appear legitimate. During the placement phase, the offender commonly makes several small deposits in different accounts.
The layering phase is concealing the illegal source of the money to escape detection, which involves constantly moving it. The offender withdraws the “laundered” money during the integration phase to use for a legal investment, such as buying real estate. The internet has allowed offenders the use of proxy servers, cryptocurrency and anonymous payment applications to hide illegal sources.
Money laundering stats
Statistics estimate that individuals in the United States “launder” about $300 billion annually, making up 15% to 38% of money laundering worldwide. An estimated $800 billion to $1 trillion is laundered globally, equal to 2% to 5% of the GDP.
The average convicted offender is 42 years old, and slightly over 70% of offenders are United States citizens. Penalties for money laundering average $1,000 in fines and 67 months of jail for a misdemeanor and a $250,000 fine for a felony.
An estimated 41% of financial institutions are not AML compliant or inadequately protected, which led to losing over $321 billion in fines between 2008 and 2017. AML strategies only recoup about 1% of laundered money with over 90% of the crimes remaining undetected.
Money laundering is treated as a serious crime by authorities because it impacts the global economy. However, not everyone accused of money laundering is guilty of committing the offense. An accused party may be able to fight the charges with a valid defense.