How Can You Catch a Money Laundering Firm Before Signing a Business Agreement?Posted on: August 22, 2019 by Gavin Muirhead
Protect yourself and your company before you sign a business agreement with a money laundering firm. Criminals don’t always use banks to launder their money, they can target any type of business.
What is money laundering?
When large amounts of money are generated during criminal activity, the proceeds need to be disguised so that they look as though they came from a legitimate source. This type of money is often referred to as “dirty,” and the “laundry” process disguises it and makes the profit look “clean” or legitimate. Once the money has been laundered, it is hard to distinguish it from legitimate resources. Funds are then available for use without detection.
Money laundering is a Crime
It is estimated that every year between $600 billion to $1.5 trillion is laundered. If caught, money laundering is criminalized under both state and federal laws. State and federal laws vary considerably in regard to penalties. If convicted, the defendant can receive fines, probation, or a prison sentence.
The fines that are associated with money laundering can vary from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Probation sentences are usually set anywhere from one year to three-plus years. Probation terms have to be followed, or the court can revoke probation and order a prison term or impose fines or other penalties. Probation terms often include drug testing, home checks, regular and reporting.
Money laundering is often charged as a felony offense and can result in a prison term. If it is a misdemeanor conviction, the sentence could be a year in jail. Felony convictions can result in multiple years in prison. In severe cases, prison sentences can last 35 years or more.
Protect Your Business Before Signing an Agreement
Before you ever sign a business agreement, you need to ensure that the company that you are dealing with is legitimate and has your best interests in mind. Be on the lookout for anything that may seem suspicious. Here are some questions to ask:
- Is the company is an extreme hurry to get things done?
- Are they offering you cash?
- Do payments come from a variety of sources?
- Is the company providing you only vague, minimal, or fictitious information? Are you able to verify any of the information that was provided?
- Does the company have an agent that they won’t release any information?
- Does the company show little care about knowing the details of the agreement?
- Are there any red flags about the money? Are they offering too much or not enough?
- Is there a lack of concern on their part about transactions?
- Do they want to handle the transaction in a hasty or unusual manner?
- Is there a property involved that is titled to a third party?
- Was a property purchased without a mortgage?
- Is the company able to account for the source of payment?
- Does the company tend to change the source of payment at the last minute?
- Are they splitting up payments so that the payments are kept under the reporting threshold?
- Are they known to use cash-only transactions and receive cash in large amounts?
- Do they want you to handle things in an abnormal way?
- Are they known to purchase properties and immediately resell them for a profit?
- Are they refusing a background check?
Perform a Background Check
Having a background check performed before signing a business agreement is one of the most important things that you can do. You don’t want to get involved in criminal activity and lose everything that you have worked so hard to achieve. If you have been in business long enough, you understand the ins and outs of doing things honestly. You intuitively know if something does not seem legitimate. If someone wants you to do business in a way that is unusual or uncustomary, you can almost bet that they are up to no good.
Contact us at Affordable Background Checks to verify that you are dealing with someone that you can trust. We compile our results from numerous sources and will quickly provide you the information that you seek to put you at ease. Nowadays, it’s not enough to merely rely on a simple handshake. Let us confirm the legitimacy of your future financial partner.