- A FinCen files leak has exposed $2 trillion worth of potential money laundering by the world’s biggest banks
- More than 2,000 transactions have been flagged as potentially suspicious
- The leak shows that traditional finance is still favored over cryptocurrency by money launderers
A leak of thousands of documents has detailed $2 trillion of potentially corrupt transactions that have been washed through the US financial system between 1999 and 2017, reinforcing the notion that traditional finance, not cryptocurrency, is still the favored vehicle for money launderers. The files, which take the form of suspicious activity reports (SARs) filed with the US government’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), involve, among others, JPMorgan, whose CEO Jamie Dimon has famously labelled Bitcoin a scam.
2,000 Files Leaked to Investigate Journalists
The FinCen files, which comprised 2,000 SARs leaked to Buzzfeed News who then passed them onto the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, suggest that certain international banks offered financial services to high-risk individuals in a variety of countries, including those already under sanctions by the U.S. government.
For example, the FinCen files reportedly show that HSBC in the UK allowed a criminal gang to transfer millions of dollars from a Ponzi scheme through its accounts, even after it had identified their fraud.
JPMorgan, whose CEO Jamie Dimon has repeatedly called out Bitcoin as an illegitimate investment, reportedly allowed $1 billion worth of wire transfers from Semion Mogilevich to be processed, despite him being an alleged Russian organized crime boss on the FBI’s top 10 most wanted list. This isn’t the first time JPMorgan has been involved with illegal activity – in 2018 one of its metals traders pleaded guilty to manipulating the metals market for years.
FinCen Files Highlights Hypocrisy
The FinCen files leak, and the sheer scale of the amounts involved, puts cryptocurrency money laundering to shame, despite the efforts of mainstream media outlets to paint it as a money launderer’s paradise.
As well as reminding everyone that cash is still king when it comes to illegal financial practices, the FinCen files leak also highlights the hypocrisy in the attempts by those with little to no knowledge of the industry in claiming that cryptocurrency’s only use is for illegal means. Fiat money, and especially the U.S. dollar, is by far the most used vehicle as far as that is concerned.