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Old 04-07-2016, 02:03 AM
russian heel is offline
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How do you launder stolen bonds?


From this story:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...h-1497092.html

And I've heard of large stashes of securities, bonds, treasury bonds etc non cash items being stolen at gunpoint, then magically laundered by the thieves.

I dont see bonds or security notes the same as cash. Its kinda hard to tell everyone in the world "DONT ACCEPT any $100 BILLS---we just had $50 million worth of them stolen!"

But surely, within less than an hour, you can get the alert out that documents representing securities or bonds were stolen, wont be accepted, and replacements will be issued, no? Yet, even in the article, it seems even months after the heist, there were still suckers willing to buy the stolen bonds. Is there no alert system in place?

For instance, if you rob a bank, and a month later use a stolen $100 bill to buy something from my place of business, I wouldn't think twice about it; a month after a bank issued a notice about their bonds getting stolen, and you try and sell me a bond from that bank, Id be raising an eyebrow.

Or do these thieves manage to move the notes into the market so fast, that the last to hold them before the bank issues a notice the suckers? But then, how do they circulate so fast?

Last edited by russian heel; 04-07-2016 at 02:07 AM.
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Old 04-07-2016, 02:17 AM
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If they are bearer bonds, they can be redeemed by whoever is holding them. Practically as launderable as cash.

But most bonds are not bearer bonds; they are issued to somebody. One way to launder this is to use them as collateral for a loan. (Requires a plausible story and probably a bit of identity-fakery as well.) Then default on the loan.

Yes, serial numbers of stolen financial instruments do get circulated between finanical institutions. But no bank carefully checks every serial number of every instrument that passes through their hands against these lists. It's no more practical to do that than it is to check the serial number of every dollar bill you handle against lists of stolen/forged bills.
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Old 04-07-2016, 02:44 AM
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Originally Posted by UDS View Post
If they are bearer bonds, they can be redeemed by whoever is holding them. Practically as launderable as cash.
Except few reputable brokers or banking agents will deal in them, and since bearer bonds haven't been issed since the mid-Nineties, most bearer bonds have either expired or been called prematurely, so they're not earning interest.

Realistically, there is no way to 'launder' tens of millions of dollars untraceably unless you actually own a bank or can hide it in the valuation of massive real estate trades. Bearer bonds used to be used to facillitate those kinds of large purchases in the pre-electronic international banking era but are more of a nuisance today even if your objective is to hide financial transfers, so such instruments have been virtually eliminated.

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Old 04-07-2016, 03:03 AM
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I take your point about bearer bonds. But the OP's question isn't confined to the US; it's possible that they still enjoy a bit more popularity in some parts of the world. Either way, laundering bearer bonds may be relatively easy, but it's going to be pretty rare nowadays.

Your general point about the difficulty of laundering large amounts of securities is perfectly true. And in fact because laundering is difficult it is also expensive. The amount you'll end up with after successfully laundering securities will be a fraction of their face value.

Take the "use as collateral for a loan" trick. A very big loan will naturally attract a very high degree of scrutiny, so you will want to enter into a series of small loans, with a variety of small and not very highly resourced lenders, operating in different markets. So right there you've got a lot of expense and you need a lot of local connections in different cities,a nd you have to pay different people to help you with your different faked identities. You'll need plausible back-stories to tell the lenders about why you are taking out the loan; faking the evidence for those costs money. And everyone who helps you is taking a significant risk, and expects to be paid generously. Even if all goes smoothly, if you're using the securities as collateral you won't be able to borrow the full value of the securities - banks like their margins of comfort. Plus there are the ordinary fees and expenses and costs and , yes, taxes that would arise even if this were an entirely genuine and legitimate loan. So the overheads mount up dramatically, very quickly.
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:31 AM
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The OP's question is a very good one, is there really a high value document that you can steal and then launder ?

No there is not.


The USA government did issue true "bearer bonds", that could be claimed by the bearer instantly in many cities in the USA, without question as to why the bearer was holding it, the bank would only verify it wasn't stolen , counterfeit or already surrendered. At various times the bearer bond was issued with no record of the original recipient, but in all cases the claiming of the bearer bond was recorded ; this means anyone considering purchasing a bearer bond , or accepting them as payment, had to consider the chance of it being a fake or stolen document they were receiving ?


In any other cases, such as private bank bearer bonds and in other countries, , there is no law that the "or bearer" part was respected, basically it just allowed for someone who wasn't the recipient to claim them, but the claim didn't have to be honoured, and clearly the bank took steps to authenticate the bearer bond before paying out, which depends on the value and circumstances, but for the OP's case of very very high value, they'd do it very very surely.


Actually the OP's been mislead by that news article.

1. The bearer bonds were only ever going to be paid out to the proper owner
2. they were not even real in the wild bearer bonds, they were already surrended and thus invalid bearer bonds. Other articles state that the person robbed was the issuing bank's employee, so in fact the financial instruments, whatever they were, had already been surrended, and were thus totally valueless. The mugger also got blank receipts, But the proper owner of the value of the bonds already had their receipt for the surrender of the bonds !


The only man charged was charged with fraud - which was because he tried to sell the papers he had as having a high value, when in fact he would of course surrender them himself if he had any chance of being able to claim that value.
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Old 04-07-2016, 02:44 PM
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Woollite. Cool rinse. Dry flat, away from the sun.
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Old 04-07-2016, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isilder View Post
The OP's question is a very good one, is there really a high value document that you can steal and then launder ?

No there is not.


The USA government did issue true "bearer bonds", that could be claimed by the bearer instantly in many cities in the USA, without question as to why the bearer was holding it, the bank would only verify it wasn't stolen , counterfeit or already surrendered. At various times the bearer bond was issued with no record of the original recipient, but in all cases the claiming of the bearer bond was recorded ; this means anyone considering purchasing a bearer bond , or accepting them as payment, had to consider the chance of it being a fake or stolen document they were receiving ?


In any other cases, such as private bank bearer bonds and in other countries, , there is no law that the "or bearer" part was respected, basically it just allowed for someone who wasn't the recipient to claim them, but the claim didn't have to be honoured, and clearly the bank took steps to authenticate the bearer bond before paying out, which depends on the value and circumstances, but for the OP's case of very very high value, they'd do it very very surely.


Actually the OP's been mislead by that news article.

1. The bearer bonds were only ever going to be paid out to the proper owner
2. they were not even real in the wild bearer bonds, they were already surrended and thus invalid bearer bonds. Other articles state that the person robbed was the issuing bank's employee, so in fact the financial instruments, whatever they were, had already been surrended, and were thus totally valueless. The mugger also got blank receipts, But the proper owner of the value of the bonds already had their receipt for the surrender of the bonds !


The only man charged was charged with fraud - which was because he tried to sell the papers he had as having a high value, when in fact he would of course surrender them himself if he had any chance of being able to claim that value.
And in recent years, front loading washers have been more desirable than top loaders for reasons unknown to me.
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Old 04-07-2016, 04:46 PM
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And in recent years, front loading washers have been more desirable than top loaders for reasons unknown to me.
It's less work to move laundry between a washer and dryer both at the same height, both front-loading. And emptying a front-loading washer or dryer only requires pulling stuff forward into a basket, not lifting it out. It's much more efficient than a top-loader, that's why the old kind is becoming obsolete.
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Old 04-07-2016, 08:01 PM
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No body has said it yet, so I guess I will...need answer fast?
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Old 04-08-2016, 10:10 PM
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Yes, serial numbers of stolen financial instruments do get circulated between finanical institutions. But no bank carefully checks every serial number of every instrument that passes through their hands against these lists. It's no more practical to do that than it is to check the serial number of every dollar bill you handle against lists of stolen/forged bills.
This was done in the Lindbergh kidnapping case; that's how it was solved. But that was a special case, and had much more than normal resources devoted to it.

Now, whenever I deposit any sizable amount of cash at the bank (like more than a few bills), the tellers don't count it themselves; they run it through a bill counter. I think that you could easily add the technology to them to scan the serial numbers of the bills as they are counted, compare those against lists of stolen cash, and trigger an alarm if someone tries to deposit stolen bills. This might eventually be a way to fight thefts, especially as the use of cash is steadily declining.
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Old 04-09-2016, 02:34 PM
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Maybe laundering bonds and the like is not so easy, but it is still possible to launder large amounts of cash if required.

The Bangladeshi central bank recently had $81M stolen from their account with the Federal Reserve of New York. They were lucky not to lose more, but the $81M was transferred to a Filipino casino and then disappeared. The Filipino government only recently passed new Anti Money Laundering (AML) legislation, but crucially exempted their casinos.
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Old 04-09-2016, 05:16 PM
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It's less work to move laundry between a washer and dryer both at the same height, both front-loading. And emptying a front-loading washer or dryer only requires pulling stuff forward into a basket, not lifting it out. It's much more efficient than a top-loader, that's why the old kind is becoming obsolete.
And it's possible to design a washer-dryer combo to be stackable in a niche, but only if the washing machine is front-loading.

I wonder if laundromats have seen a decline since the advent of the stackable washer-dryer combo.
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:09 PM
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And it's possible to design a washer-dryer combo to be stackable in a niche, but only if the washing machine is front-loading.

I wonder if laundromats have seen a decline since the advent of the stackable washer-dryer combo.
They do make stacking kits for top-loading washers, but they look ridiculous.


How the hell did we get here from bearer bonds?
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Old 04-09-2016, 07:22 PM
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They do make stacking kits for top-loading washers, but they look ridiculous.
I don't know, that doesn't look like it would be stable with large, unbalanced loads.

Quote:

How the hell did we get here from bearer bonds?
By going around and around and around...

(Or, really, by way of a pun on "laundering" stolen bonds.)
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Old 04-09-2016, 07:59 PM
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Now, whenever I deposit any sizable amount of cash at the bank (like more than a few bills), the tellers don't count it themselves; they run it through a bill counter. I think that you could easily add the technology to them to scan the serial numbers of the bills as they are counted, compare those against lists of stolen cash, and trigger an alarm if someone tries to deposit stolen bills. This might eventually be a way to fight thefts, especially as the use of cash is steadily declining.
Are there really lists of serial numbers of stolen cash? I would imagine most cash that gets stolen does not have the serial numbers recorded. At any rate, such a system would flag the occasional bill that honest depositors would have that happens to have been stolen sometime in the past. But it may have passed through several people's hands before being scanned. Do banks really want to antagonize their customers that way?
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Old 04-09-2016, 08:29 PM
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Are there really lists of serial numbers of stolen cash? I would imagine most cash that gets stolen does not have the serial numbers recorded. At any rate, such a system would flag the occasional bill that honest depositors would have that happens to have been stolen sometime in the past. But it may have passed through several people's hands before being scanned. Do banks really want to antagonize their customers that way?
I learned from the movies (so it must be true) that when ransoms are paid, they will record the serial numbers to help track down whomever collects it. Also, banks sometimes have a stack of money in each drawer with the serial numbers recorded that tellers are supposed to give to a robber, but not use for regular transactions.
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Old 04-09-2016, 08:37 PM
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This was done in the Lindbergh kidnapping case; that's how it was solved. But that was a special case, and had much more than normal resources devoted to it.

Now, whenever I deposit any sizable amount of cash at the bank (like more than a few bills), the tellers don't count it themselves; they run it through a bill counter. I think that you could easily add the technology to them to scan the serial numbers of the bills as they are counted, compare those against lists of stolen cash, and trigger an alarm if someone tries to deposit stolen bills. This might eventually be a way to fight thefts, especially as the use of cash is steadily declining.
The Lindbergh case was helped by much of the ransom was in gold certificates, which the serial numbers were recorded and by the fact gold certificates were taken out of circulation a year later, with threats of imprisonment if people didn;t turn them in. Various businesses were told to watch for people paying with gold certificates and eventually a gas station attendant did and recorded Hauptmann's license plate number on the bill.
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Old 04-10-2016, 04:35 AM
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I learned from the movies (so it must be true) that when ransoms are paid, they will record the serial numbers to help track down whomever collects it. Also, banks sometimes have a stack of money in each drawer with the serial numbers recorded that tellers are supposed to give to a robber, but not use for regular transactions.
I strongly doubt either of those has ever been true. The problem is that having the serial numbers of stolen money is not terribly useful information. No one looks at serial numbers of bills they get. By the time a stolen bill gets to a bank it may have gone through several people's hands. Is the bank going to take away people's money because someone else stole that bill some time in the past?
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Old 04-10-2016, 05:05 AM
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I strongly doubt either of those has ever been true. The problem is that having the serial numbers of stolen money is not terribly useful information. No one looks at serial numbers of bills they get. By the time a stolen bill gets to a bank it may have gone through several people's hands. Is the bank going to take away people's money because someone else stole that bill some time in the past?
But consider that a kidnapper may deposit a large amount of the ransom money at once. Banks in the region might be alerted to keep an eye out for large deposits into personal accounts and look at the serial numbers then.

Recording the serial numbers would also be useful as evidence if the criminal is caught by other means with a large number of the bills still in his possession.
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Old 04-10-2016, 05:32 AM
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By the time a stolen bill gets to a bank it may have gone through several people's hands. Is the bank going to take away people's money because someone else stole that bill some time in the past?
They will if you try to innocently bank a forged note. It doesn't matter how you got it - they will just take it off you and it's your hard luck.
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