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Money Laundering: A Guide for Criminal Investigators, Third Edition

***** Money Laundering: A Guide for Criminal Investigators, Third Edition. By John Madinger. CRC Press,; 430 pages; $104.95; also available as e-book.

John Madinger, who has extensive experience as an IRS criminal investigator, has written an outstanding introduction to the complex world of money laundering. It includes interesting sections on the history of money and of money laundering along with other forms of financial crime.

The historical aspects are illustrated with clear and precise explanations of specific cases, such as Al Capone’s business operations and Watergate, which involved, in part, illegal campaign contributions. The three phases of money laundering: placement, layering, and integration are described in detail with examples of real cases, and easy-to-understand flow sheets and graphics illustrate the money laundering activity.

Two chapters are devoted to federal statutes and international enforcement. Few investigators outside of the banking industry and federal law enforcement have heard of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) or the Edgemont Group and how they influence money laundering in general. The author provides clear and comprehensive explanations. Additional chapters describe business partnerships, business operations, general accounting, banking operations, and more, making the book extremely useful to an investigator who might lack an understanding of how business works.

Updated sections of the book concentrate on terrorist financing and fundraising. The author describes in detail what al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden did to obtain funds through Islamic charity groups around the world. Also discussed is the hawala, an ancient money transferring process used traditionally in the Middle East.

The book’s comprehensive glossary is quite helpful; appendices include sample forms used by financial institutions such as the Suspicious Activity Report, Currency Transactions Report, and more. There are also sample subpoena templates and an extensive bibliography for further reference.

Money Laundering is primarily targeted at the law enforcement officer; however, this well-written book would also be a valuable text in a college-level law enforcement or intelligence program. Additionally, bank compliance departments who manage financial intelligence units would also find it useful in maintaining or building a training program and reference library.

Reviewer: Adrian A. Barnie, CPP, CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), CAMS (Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist), is a contract senior investigator assigned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a member of ASIS International.