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Undercover Videos Show How Shady Money Gets Into The US

On the heels of the recent laws targeting shady money parkers, an activist organization released a video of how easy it is to move shady money to the US.

Posing as corrupt foreign officials, investigators pretended to be advising an African minister attempting to get money into the US without detection—something that should raise red flags for any law firm.

One lawyer wouldn't speak with the fake foreign high roller, but lawyers from 12 other firms referred anonymous companies to hide the minister's assets. 

Manhattan-based John Jankoff of Jankoff & Gabe, was taped suggesting starting an anonymous Swiss Bank account through a "straw man," or third-party buyer.

Gerald Ross of Fryer & Ross mentioned the possibility of using his firm's bank accounts to funnel the fake official's money into the country.

When confronted by the New York Times, Ross explained that his clients don't use LLCs for secrecy, but because they're "afraid of being screwed by somebody."

And James Silkenat, president of the American Bar Association at the time of the investigation, made it clear that he couldn't assist with anything illegal, but he offered to provide a list of countries with less rigorous banking systems than the US.

When he spoke to the New York Times, he said his advice was meant to address privacy concerns. All meetings were preliminary. No transactions were made and none of the firms took on the investigator as a client. [NYT]