Money laundering


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Money laundering
Money laundering is the process of disguising illegally obtained money so that it appears to be legitimate. It is the act of taking money that has been gained illegally, such as through drug trafficking or other criminal activities, and concealing or converting it into assets that appear to have been acquired from legal sources. For example, an individual may purchase a high-value item such as real estate with illegally gained money and then sell it for a profit. The proceeds from the sale can then be deposited into a bank account and used to fund other activities. Money laundering is a global problem that affects nearly every country in the world. In 2019, it was estimated that between 2-5% of the global gross domestic product (GDP) was laundered money. The United States alone loses approximately $300 billion per year to money laundering. An analogy that can be used to explain money laundering is that it is like an iceberg. The illegal activity at the top of the iceberg is visible, but the majority of the illegal activity is hidden beneath the surface. Fun Fact: Money laundering does not always involve money. Sometimes, criminals will launder assets such as jewelry, art, or cars.