What We Can Learn From Recent Political Events

No doubt you have heard the name Paul Manafort over the past couple of weeks. He worked with the Trump campaign and has now been indicted on suspicion for various crimes. However, the one charge we want to look at today is how he allegedly conspired to launder money for the Ukrainian government.

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However, the gist of the story is that Manafort used over $18 million dollars hidden in offshore accounts to live a lavish lifestyle including buying property that he hid from the US Government.

He was paid this money by the Ukrainian government, allegedly, for being an unregistered agency working for the then current president of the Ukraine.

While we don’t want to get into the political or even judicial side of what happened here, we do want to use this story to point out the importance of our current KYC rulings. You see while Manafort used an offshore bank to hold all of his money, there are people all over the United States who are laundering money through our own banking system.

Remember the Panama Papers that lead to the final FinCEN ruling on beneficial owners? The reason why those papers were so shocking is because they revealed the holes in our current systems that criminals (like Putin) were using to launder their money. The exact same thing that Manafort has been charged with.

Thankfully, banks don’t have to try and weed out these nefarious activities on their own. Using tools like Real Searches’ Background Checks, Responsible Officer Search, and many of the other tools we offer, you can get a full picture of exactly who is opening an account with you as well as who they are “in bed” with so to speak.

While people like Manafort (if he is guilt of the crimes levied against him) will continue to find loopholes in the system, it’s comforting to know that you're left empty handed when it comes to trying to discover everything you need to know about your customer before they open an account with you. Using you own systems, and the tools provided by RealSearch.com, you have a much greater chance of preventing any one customer from abusing your systems and laundering their money through your bank.

Like the rest of the country, we’re anxious to hear what happens with Manafort, but we would almost bet that the current situation leads to more discoveries of how to keep our financial system safe from criminals. Manafort may have just bought property and lives a lavish lifestyle, but the next case might not be so harmless.

Having good KYC practices is one way to ensure such crimes don’t slip through the cracks.