White Collar Crime: Russian Organized Crime's Money Laundering

Skarly Mendoza, Buffalo State College
Debra Ross, Buffalo State College
John Song, Buffalo State College

This paper addresses a facet of White Collar Crime, Money Laundering. Money Laundering is taking money made from criminal activity, usually cash, and moving it through a sequence of transactions until its origins are obscured. Often this involves the use of shell companies formed in bank secrecy-havens. Once the trail has been blurred, the money is withdrawn and used for further criminal activities. The most popular money laundering case in the U.S. history was "Operation Casablanca" in 1998. This case involved approximately 150 million dollars in drug money. Many of the more recent cases of money laundering have been against various Russian individuals and/or groups. The Russian cases represent a sobering advance from "Operation Casablanca" on a number of fronts, most notably the amounts involved are higher and the fact that the art of money laundering has migrated from drug traffickers to white-collar criminals. Numerous cases, mainly against Russians, were examined in reference to their commonalities in structure and enforcement.

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Updated 05/20/2006