Money Laundering

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DEFINITION of 'Money Laundering'

The process of creating the appearance that large amounts of money obtained from serious crimes, such as drug trafficking or terrorist activity, originated from a legitimate source.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Money Laundering'

Some estimate the size of the problem is over $500 billion annually. Often thought of as a victimless crime, money laundering is a very serious issue. Without it, international organized crime would not be able to function.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. What methods are used to launder money?

    Money laundering involves three basic steps to disguise the source of illegally earned money and make it usable: placement, ... Read Full Answer >>
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    Money laundering is a multibillion dollar industry that impacts legitimate business interests by making it much more difficult ... Read Full Answer >>
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