A reader, writing about this column on a KYC website, declared recently:
"Great tips, found in between the quite opinionated commentary, from the bloke who wrote 'Confessions of a Money Launderer' on World-Check."
He was kind enough to include a hyperlink to this blog. So what about it, am I too opinionated, and if so, why ? My answer can be found in what I refer to as ...
THE COMPLIANCE OFFICER'S NIGHTMARE
Your spouse finally convinces you to take the children on a trip to Disney World. When you deplane at Orlando, and process through Immigration & Customs, you are unexpectedly detained by the authorities, and turned over to Federal Marshals, who transport you to the District Court.
There, after being held in a lockup for several hours, you are brought before a Magistrate Judge, and informed that a warrants exists for your arrest, on the charges of money laundering, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. You are stunned, for you have never gotten more than a speeding ticket before this day.
The Court advises you that you are but one small cog in a complex criminal indictment of over two hundred individuals involved in a global narcotics narcotics conspiracy. You know only one person in the entire case, a former client from years ago.
The judge finds that you have no ties to the United States, and are a flight risk, ruling that you shall be held in Pretrial Confinement, meaning that you cannot be released on bond. Your family lawyer in the UK quickly hires local defence counsel, who tells you that you are facing a potential twenty-year sentence, in a country where parole has been abolished by statute, meaning that one must serve 85% of one's sentence.
You vaguely recall the client who is your co-defendant as a good source of income for the bank at that time. You are fired by your employer, are crucified in the local press as a money launderer & danger to society, and your wife files for divorce.
The reason that I am so opinionated about many issues, is that I wish to spare all my readers that dreadful experience. In the compliance world, professional negligence may later develop into a criminal charge in a faraway jurisdiction where they are not very understanding about your failure to adequately monitor client activities.
If I can shake you out of your complacency about important topics, and cause you to be proactive as gatekeeper, and therefore effectively suppress money laundering in your shoppe, I will be as outrageous as I can be. I do not want you to have my experiences; going to prison for money laundering, and later working in compliance at a very large firm where a clandestine Ponzi scheme reigned.
Please, do not think that my strong opinions are not without cause; Thank you for your interest.