November 10, 2017

Jim Mintz Washington Post Video: How Corrupt Politicians Launder Money

Courtesy of The Washington Post

Financial investigator Jim Mintz has been following dirty money for decades. Here’s what he noticed in the indictment against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.


00:00     I’ve been tracing dirty money for more than 30 years. Studying kleptocrats all over the world, distinct patterns emerge.

00:11     The thing about kleptocrats is that the moves and tricks they like to use each contain the seeds of their own destruction.

00:20     They can get caught at every stage, and those patterns are the basis of our new game Kleptocrat How to hide dirty money.

00:27     In virtually every case, corrupt people took six separate steps to conceal their assets

00:33     Take the money under the table.

00:36     Create a financial structure to hide it.

00:38     Move the money into the structure.

00:40     Network with family members to run the operation

00:44     Cover up their tracks

00:47     And last, since it’s no fun for the money to sit gathering dust, take the money out and enjoy it.

00:51     I know nothing about Paul Manafort or the allegations in the indictment against him. I read the Manafort  indictment and lo and behold, the allegations match the six-step pattern.

01:02     It says Manafort allegedly took eighteen million dollars secretly from Ukraine that’s step one

01:08     Step two, Manafort allegedly created a blizzard of offshore companies with names like blue Atilla. They’re on tiny islands I bet most people couldn’t even find on a map.

01:18     Then step three, he allegedly started moving the money around six separate companies on the

island of Cyprus and sent more than five million dollars to a home-improvement firm in the Hamptons.

01:33     Step 4, Manafort allegedly enlisted some of his relatives to help. The indictment says he got his

daughter and son-in-law to pretend to live in the real estate he was buying.

01:42     Step 5 is covering up your secret money. Manafort allegedly lied to his accountants and to the federal agents about the funds. He used multiple passports and he quote developed a false and misleading cover story.

01:57     Lastly, Manafort allegedly brought the money out to play. The indictment says he quote used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States.

02:09 I guess sometimes a game can help you understand the news.

Learn more about the game and how corrupt politicians launder money here and download the Kleptocrat app here.Check out more coverage of Kleptocrat:

New Yorker magazine profile of Jim Mintz and Irwin Chen

Wall Street Journal: Fancy Yourself a Kleptocrat? Here’s a Chance to Try It

Buzzfeed: How To Launder Billions In 5 Easy Steps

Compliance Week: Shall We Play a Game?

British American Business: Global Investigation Firm Launches New Education App

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