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money in the wash

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Nov 27, 2023, 1:34:24 AM11/27/23
In the Binance story, they stand accused of "money laundering".
This term shows up often, but no one ever explains it.

My idea of financial crime is fraud, breach of contract,
or false advertising. Did Binance do any such? Did
any of their customers file a complaint?

I have the impression it's an offense against Big
Brother, an attempt to maintain privacy, failing to heed
His dictates, His need to track every penny. So
they are declared an Enemy of the State.

Can anyone fill in the details? Like, what is money laundering, in general?


Barry Gold

Nov 27, 2023, 12:32:40 PM11/27/23
"Money laundering" is very close to a literal description of what goes
on. Someone who has "dirty" money -- obtained by illicit means -- wants
to "clean" it so that they can move it through the banking system.

What means are "illicit"?
* selling illegal drugs(1)
* illicit gambling(2)
* embezzlement
* bribery

(1) This could be fixed by legalizing all drugs. Imagine the gangs
trying to make a profit when anybody can walk into Wal-Mart or CVS and
buy pre-measured doses of whatever drug they want for 10 cents a dose.

(2) Some of the laws against gambling are there to give the government
an excuse to violate our privacy, but some of them are to make sure that
the games are honest.

I do so have a memory. It's backed up on DVD... somewhere...

Stuart O. Bronstein

Nov 27, 2023, 12:43:27 PM11/27/23
Money laundering is not a victimless crime. It is taking money that
was obtained illegally, and running it through (normally) a business to
make it look like it was obtained legally. For example I have seen
restaurants that never seem to have any customers. Perhaps they only
pretend to the authorities that they have customers and make money, to
make it look like money that was illegally obtained was actually
received legitimately in business transactions.


Barry Gold

Nov 28, 2023, 2:34:49 AM11/28/23
Yeah, I remember one restaurant, Man Fook Low, on Alameda Blvd. near 9th
Street in Los Angeles. We went there several times, it never seemed to
be crowded although there were people (waiters? cooks?) chopping up meat
and vegetables.

One Christmas Eve when we a group of us had stayed up very late talking,
I called this restaurant at 2AM and asked if they could seat a party of
12. They said yes, so we drove there (27 miles). We got there, they
seated us in a back room. We agreed on three dishes that should be part
of our meal, and told the waiter to have the cook choose the rest.

We got a very nice meal for a very low price. But how they stayed in
business was a bit of a mystery.

Later on, an acquaintance who worked for LAPD (as a civilian analyst)
told us that Man Fook Low was the center for the "outside of Chinatown"
tong. Which might explain things. I suspect that back room was sometimes
used for Pai Gow.
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