UTICA, N.Y. -- Television shows like 'Breaking Bad' and 'Ozark' shine a light on money laundering. But is this something that happens in the Mohawk Valley? It leaves people to wonder just how accurate their portrayals are.
According to a Utica College professor, whose area of expertise is money laundering, they are pretty accurate. So much, so, in fact, that she uses a scene from 'Breaking Bad' in her class to explain money laundering, which, simply put, is the circulation of crime proceeds back into the banking system.
While it's not something we see and hear about as much as counterfeiting, many of the businesses we walk into every day are fighting a battle we don't see, against money laundering.
"Banks and credit unions, no matter what the size and location, actually do have requirements that they must monitor for money, unusual sources of money, unusual dollar amounts, whether you're in Utica or you're in New York City they almost follow the same regulatory rules set forth by the US Treasury,” said Sue Lynch, Utica College professor of practice. "Casinos also have the same regulatory requirements to monitor for money laundering.”
As Lynch explains it, it's illegal funding and once it gets into the system, it tends to perpetuate and create the opportunity to commit bigger crimes.