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Money laundering is a serious issue that impacts businesses, large and small, all over the world. Money laundering, simply put, is the act of making illegitimate funds appear to come from legitimate sources. Businesses that deal in high volumes of cash, such as restaurants, are most commonly used to launder money, though any kind of business, including those that deal in electronic payments can be used for money laundering. There is even a recent case of a meatpacking business that allegedly bought and sold cattle to launder drug money. Typically the business doing the laundering will mix legitimate money in with the illegitimate funds, in an attempt to make it more difficult to detect. That can mean trouble for you if you’re working with a business that is also laundering money.

As most companies maintain business bank accounts, financial institutions play a large role in flagging suspicious transactions. Most banks, keen to avoid accusations of aiding in money laundering, and in order to comply with local laws and regulations, have personnel dedicated to identifying suspicious patterns or unusual transactions and maintain records of payment activities. Enforcement around the world is getting stricter. If a business you deal with has it’s accounts frozen or the business is closed by the authorities you may have trouble getting paid. You may get dragged into an investigation, even if your business was entirely legitimate.

It is crucial for companies seeking to expand their business relationships to conduct background checks on and investigations of potential business partners to protect themselves from exposure to money laundering and other serious liabilities. With access to local investigators and informational resources all over the world, Smith Brandon International can assist you with such checks.

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