We all know what it feels like to get ripped off or scammed. But we know less about the tools the criminals use to get away with their illicit activities.
Global Witness has previously looked at a whole range of crimes, and found they all had one thing in common. They were all carried out by anonymous company owners, who are able to skirt U.S. laws and launder money through our financial system. If these sham companies did not exist, those crimes would be far harder to commit.
To prove our point, we went undercover and approached 13 New York law firms. We deliberately posed as someone designed to raise red flags for money laundering.
We said we were advising an African minister who had accumulated millions of dollars, and we wanted to buy a Gulfstream Jet, a brownstone and a yacht. We said we needed to get the money into the U.S. without detection.
To be clear, the meetings with the lawyers were all preliminary. None of the law firms took our investigator on as a client, and no money was moved.
Nonetheless, the results were shocking; all but one of the the lawyers had suggestions on how to move the funds. To see what some of them said, watch the videos below: