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Well, of course Snippa was going to fall for this

As the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists reports this morning, the FinCEN Files that it has uncovered show trillions in tainted dollars flow freely through major banks around the world, swamping a broken money laundering enforcement system.

Well, no, that’s not what they did find.

What they got was a set of SARs – Suspicious Activity Reports. Which is what a bank fills out when it thinks there might be something going on. Note the think, might, there.

The government – FinCEN – then decides whether it is actually dodgy or not.

So, there’s blokes hanging around the back door of the 7/11. You think they’re up to nefarity. You call the cops who go talk to them. Maybe it’s nefarity, maybe it ain’t and it’s up to the cops to find out.

Snippa’s position here is that you calling the cops is both proof of nefarity and also that you’re doing it, you the person reporting it in to be checked upon.

As it happens an old mate actually works in this field.

It’s mad to say every SAR reflects a criminal transaction.

Filing a SAR is the equivalent of calling the cops, with the even lower bar that you don’t have to see a crime being committed, just something unusual you don’t see a good explanation for. The cops take it from there.

Snippa is trying to use the records of the reporting system to prove that there is no reporting system.

‘Ee’s mad, of course.

17 thoughts on “Well, of course Snippa was going to fall for this”

  1. Exactly what happened with HSBC when it got shaken down a few years back by the regulator: it couldn’t prove that it hadn’t been laundering drug money …

    … which, when reported, turned into the assertion that it had been laundering drug money.

  2. I watched the Panorama (BBC1) programme on this and Big Bad Oligarchs. What a farrago of innuendo that was. No substantive evidence anywhere. The bit about Abramovich and ‘ownership’ of football players had been sorted more than a decade ago by the FA and a bit more recently by FIFA, so why rake all that up again? Zero points for investigative journalism, lots of points for grinding his pet axe.

  3. The burden of proof is on the banks.. Which makes it difficult. Why is the burden not on the regulators? Surely the reason could not be their lack of skill and competence. And note that Deutsche Bank is alleged to be responsible for about 65% of the money laundering. Germans behaving like criminals! How did that happen? And with JPMorgan accounting for another 25%,surely even the Great Potato could handle the investigation

  4. You think they’re up to nefarity.

    The rule may be: what happens in Thebes stays in Thebes but that notwithstanding,the Pharaoh Akhenaten would have something to say from across the veil about such goings-on.

  5. Another classic by Murphy..

    When asked about being his claim of being a money laundering office he replies “ Fulcrum, Chartered Accountants. I am the sole proprietor. And I admit it has not got many clients. But I have to make sure I know what I;’m doing, nonetheless”

    I sometimes wonder if his taxresearch blog is Murphy Richards in disguise,

    When I write it’s based on knowing stuff, in reality

  6. It’s actually worse than that. You don’t fill a SAR out because you are suspicious of something, as per Ed Lud and Diogenes’ comments. You are legally (UK) required to complete a SAR if it isn’t _clear_ that the transaction is 100% legitimate. This is why there used to be a lower limit to reporting transactions, until increased electronic banking made it trivial for the crooks to do many transactions at just below the limit.

    Notes – I was never a Money Laundering Reporting Officer myself, but got heavily involved in the system because, surprise, the online reporting system was shit and my team ended up in charge of the manual workarounds.

  7. Fulcrum accountants? No website, no company listing, no phone number. Probably why he doesn’t have many customers. He’s probably his only “client” to do his own returns for Tax Research LLP.

  8. Given what happens when the cops are informed of an actual crime, I won’t hold my breath while waiting for a response to a report of a possible crime…..

  9. Quite right ANNRQ! I googled “Fulcrum Chartered Accountants” and Richie was conspicuous by his absence. Why would anyone take advice from someone so lacking in acumen?

  10. @Bongo

    What’s worse is that The New Green Deal Group Limited lists only one Person with Significant Control (PSC) despite having three Directors when the Articles adopted by the company state that each director has the same level of control. I’d say that the other two directors should be PSCs too. Looks like Spud is involved with a company that is flouting company law.

  11. In fairness he has said before he has a few old clients from his practice that he still does their accounts and returns for, more as a favour than as an ongoing business.

  12. show trillions in tainted dollars flow freely through major banks

    Once there is trillions, the problem is not any system. It’s the people running the system. They don’t cost trillions to buy out.

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