The accuracy (or lack there of) of Ozark's and Breaking Bad's criminal enterprises (open spoilers)

In pit thread an off hand mention of Ozark and money laundering was mentioned, and @K9befrieder made the following post

followed by @Atamasama

Knowing nothing about either making meth or laundering money I was hoping to get some elaboration from K9befriender (and anyone else) as to where they went wrong, and also to open discussion for Atamasama’s question about why. without further hijacking the thread.

I think they change the details of crimes to improve or dramatize the story, not to hide how it works in the real world. It’s fiction, not a documentary.

Youtube tries to provide useful how-to guides for whatever hobbies you have, including “how to make meth”.

Fight Club deliberately included flawed bomb making instructions, precisely because they didn’t want people copying the film and blowing stuff up.

It has been pretty well established that BB left out key points in meth production so as to not be a how-to guide.

That may very well be right. I was referring to the money laundering details in Ozark. I never watched BB.

Here, you can watch a highly qualified expert in money laundering operations comment on what various fictional productions get right and wrong in their depictions of the practice. Her examples include “Ozark” and “Breaking Bad.”

Since we know that the difference between real world and movie law enforcement / legal system / military / school-teaching / space travel / archaeology etc etc etc etc exists because its entirely convenient for the production to do so, why would we start at the position that criminal enterprises would be accurately created and then dumbed down or edited?

A much better starting point would be the production designers asking ‘if we need a meth lab set, what would the average viewer want to see to make them accept the scene is set in a meth lab rather than at Test Tube Warehouse?’ Then they add, subtract and tweak props to make it all work on camera, and probably spend much more time thinking about having room for cameras to move around than orderly chemical processes. If they could get away with Walt hoisting big tubs labelled ‘METHMIX - Danger - ILLEGAL’, they would have done it.

I read the same about one of Tom Clancy’s novels, where terrorists build a nuke; Clancy put in enough details to make it read plausibly, but altered key steps in the process, to keep the novel from becoming a how-to manual for real-life baddies.

Was this for a dirty bomb or for an actual nuclear fission weapon? If the latter, I highly doubt anything Clancy could include in his book would be at all helpful to potential terrorists. Any bad actor who had access to and knowledge to use the highly classified information that would be necessary to construct a working device would already know any unclassified general theory of bomb design that Clancy would be privy to.

I didn’t make it all the way through the first season of Ozarks, partly because of how offensive the money laundering part was, so I don’t know all of it, but nearly everything they described was a possible way to embezzle money, which is the opposite of what they were supposed to be doing with it.

The bit with construction, they talked about fake invoices and such, which is how you get a company to pay for work that isn’t actually done. They already had the money, the point was to turn it into a legitimate cash flow.

Really, I could give you the most detailed instructions, step by step, on how to make a nuke, and it wouldn’t matter. It’s getting the materials that’s the hard part.

Glad I’m not the only one who wondered about that.

Your correct that collecting the nuclear material is the main hurdle to making a nuclear weaoin, but there are a few technical details about how to achieve a good enough implosion that need to be worked out. The Manhattan project scientists weren’t just twiddling their thumbs, and North Korea still runs nuclear tests to make sure they got it right. My point is that any rogue actor who is building a nuclear weapon isn’t going to find everything he needs in a Tom Clancy novel no matter how detailed the explanation is, and probably knows everything that Tom Clancy does before he even starts looking.

I thought that the fake invoices were from companies that Marty set up. He could get the money into the cash businesses (the Blue Cat, the strip club, the church) but the invoices were ways to get the money out of the cash business and on its way to the cartel via a chain of such transactions.