The 2005 Money Laundering Threat Assessment (MLTA) is the first government-wide analysis of money laundering in the United States. The report is the product of an interagency working group composed of experts from the spectrum of U.S. GovernmentMoreThe 2005 Money Laundering Threat Assessment (MLTA) is the first government-wide analysis of money laundering in the United States. The report is the product of an interagency working group composed of experts from the spectrum of U.S.
Government agencies, bureaus, and offices that study and combat money laundering. The purpose of the MLTA is to help policy makers, regulators, and the law enforcement community better understand the landscape of money laundering in the United States and to support strategic planning efforts to combat money laundering.The working group synthesized law enforcement statistics and observations, regulatory data (such as Bank Secrecy Act filings), private sector studies, and public information to assess the vulnerabilities that allow criminals to launder money through particular money laundering methods or conduits.The MLTA offers a detailed analysis of thirteen money laundering methods, ranging from well-established techniques for integrating dirty money into the financial system to modern innovations that exploit global payment networks as well as the Internet.
Each chapter focuses on a specific money laundering method and provides a brief overview of the methodology, an assessment of vulnerabilities – including geographic or other noted concentrations – and the regulatory/public policy backdrop.While not exhaustive, the assessment consolidates a tremendous amount of information and insight contributed by the various participating agencies as to the major methods of money laundering that they confront.
The overall picture is both sobering and promising. The volume of dirty money circulating through the United States is undeniably vast and criminals are enjoying new advantages with globalization and the advent of new financial services such as stored value cards and online payment systems. At the same time, there has been considerable progress. The approach of U.S. law enforcement and regulatory agencies has undergone a sea change over the past decade, such that money laundering is now treated as an independent and primary focus across all relevant agencies.
With this change in approach and focus have come marked improvements in both systemic and applied anti-money laundering (AML) efforts. Most encouraging are interagency initiatives and task forces that, when properly coordinated, bring the talents, expertise, and resources of multiple agencies to bear on a problem to great effect. With so many agencies looking at distinct but related aspects of this issue, it is critical that information be shared freely and studied jointly. Highlighted below are some notable examples of recent U.S.
agency advances in organization, analysis, and execution in the fight against money laundering: