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What Are the Steps for Reporting Money Laundering?

A legal expert can usually provide advice on how to report suspected illegal activities, and may be able to help shield the reporter from any negative consequences.
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  • Written By: Jeremy Laukkonen
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 21 September 2014
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The steps for reporting money laundering can be different depending on the country. Each country has its own policies, laws, and responsible agencies. In the United States, reports are typically made to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), and the responsible body in the United Kingdom is the Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA). There is typically a report form to fill out, which may include a variety of identifying information on the suspected money launderer. In order to determine the exact steps for reporting money laundering, it may be helpful to contact the proper authorities or visit their webpage.

In order to retain some manner of personal protection, the first step in reporting money laundering can be to contact a lawyer. A legal expert can usually provide advice on how to report suspected illegal activities, and may be able to help shield the reporter from any negative consequences. It may also be useful to get legal advice on how to obtain incriminating evidence that will be useful in court. This is not an absolutely necessary step, since it is usually possible to go directly to the proper authorities.

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Before going to the authorities and reporting money laundering, it can be helpful to gather as much information as possible. This may include the identity of the suspected launderer and any details of the transactions that can be legally obtained. Information such as this can be instrumental in the law enforcement agency looking into the case and may also help obtain a conviction later on.

The next step is typically to identify the proper law enforcement agency for reporting money laundering in a particular country or locale. This is usually the FBI in the United States or SOCA in the UK, and either will be able to forward the case to the proper local authorities. After determining the responsible government entity, there will usually be report forms to fill out. This is where information on the crime can come in handy, since the forms will usually require a variety of identifying information about the suspected launderer and any potentially criminal transactions.

When reporting money laundering, the available information on the suspect and crime can affect the type of report that will be filed. Any information can be useful, but in the UK a limited intelligence value report will typically be filed if there is a suspicion but a lack of evidence. This may still help identify potential criminal activity, though more in depth information can be more useful.

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