Link Between Organized Crime and Money Laundering in Contemporary Society Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

CCTV installation and burglary reduction?) and set out a short list of clear aims and objectives.

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How is organized crime linked to money laundering in contemporary society?

Over the past years, there has been increased interest in money laundering activities. Money laundering, as defined by Bartlett (2002), is the set of activities through which criminals generate profit by disguising the origin of the profit as a legal origin rather than an illegal one. Cressey and Finckenauer (2008) argue that money laundering is a significant part of the work of criminal gangs because without these activities, it would be extremely easy to seize them since the source of their money will be jeopardised.

As argued by Janet Reno, former Secretary General of Security Issues in the United States National Strategy against Money Laundering, money laundering gives two aspects to the financial angle of criminal gangs (United States Department of Treasury and United States Department of Justice, 1999). First is that it reinforces their activities by allowing them to continue their illegal dealings. The second is that it affects the country's overall economic system since it erodes the public faith in institutions and values. In the era of globalization and technology, money-laundering activities threaten the stability of the nation's economy and at a global level.

According to Baker (2005), national and international criminal gangs are most associated with money laundering. This is because it is their way to layer illegal income with legitimate income. Their aim is to integrate the money from illegal operations with the flow of money from the legit transactions. Illegal or dirty money is often also associated with tax evasion since these gangs often do not pay taxes for illegal funds that are obfuscated.

This research will focus on criminal gangs in the present day in the United States. The primary focus is on how these organized gangs have used money-laundering activities to layer their illegal income. There are many ways of laundering money but this research will focus on bribery, offshoring, insider trading, and embezzlement as the strategies for legitimizing illegal funds.

2). Previous Research Findings

You should provide a clear and detailed discussion of research that has previously been conducted in this area. You should outline their methods and research design and consider their findings.

Occasionally, you may plan to conduct research into a topic where little previous research has been conducted. If this is the case, you may need to widen your research parameters and you will need to find comparable research in either a closely related topic, or where methods used match your own. Do not simply repeat methods and findings, but ensure that you discuss these.

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Over the years, a number of researchers have focused on how money laundering takes place within organized gangs. The researchers found that money laundering was a significant aspect of organized crime because it was not possible for these gangs to spend money they collected through illegal activities in any other way. Williams (2001) argues that these organized gangs use money laundering to avoid raising suspicion about the sources of their income. They use money-laundering activities to front funds that were from illegal sources as if they are from legal channels.

Using these money-laundering activities, they ensure that the funds look as though they are from legal channels on the outside whilst these legal channels are actually the front for their illegal activities. These businesses through which illegal funds are layered are often not questionable. They are usually sound businesses such as bars, nightclubs, or others such as service companies. As suggested by Baker (2005) and Bartlett (2002), some organized gangs have also become extremely cautious to the point where they pay taxes on all their income to reduce suspicion even further. However, many do not succeed remember to pay their taxes.

Often police suspect these illegal activities but there is little that they can do because often these money laundering activities obscure the evidence that police officers need to prosecute the members of the gang (Gilbert, 2008). While it is easy to understand that the criminal gangs take considerable effort to hide their illegal activities, it can be frustrating for law enforcement officers who have to spend years waiting for a slip up from the gang (Erikson, 1967).

Organized crime is often thought to be part of the mafia only. However, there are many other criminal organizations, other than the mafia, that use similar tactics to hide the illegality of their activities. Gilbert (2008) states that these trends are expected to continue in the coming years as more organized crime gangs engage in these activities to hide their illegal activities. Bulmer (2013) also states that though it is important to stop organized crime, it is a difficult thing and often many realistic strategies are ineffective. There are also many organized crime gangs of different sizes and this makes the eradication of these criminal gangs and prevention of money laundering activities extremely difficult.

In a contemporary society, addressing organized crime can be extremely difficult because organized crime has many facets. It does not only involve layering money from illegal activities to make them legal and usable for these criminal gangs, rather it is also involved with creating a legitimate and believable front which is time-consuming and often involves using members of the general public. Researchers have focused on what organized crime is and are concerned with the future. They have presented arguments for the importance of serious consideration to be done to the impact of organized crime on money laundering activities (Erikson, 1967). The study will focus on the aforementioned aspects of money laundering and the tie with present day organized crime.

Money that needs to be laundered can be from various criminal activities such as sale of guns, drugs, or even more hideous activities such as human trafficking. Once money from these illegal activities has been collected, it needs to be laundered to make it available for members of the criminal gangs to use (Bartlett, 2002). Therefore, it is still dirty money, however, when passed through a legit front, it becomes harder for others to realize its origin.

Studies that have been conducted in the past show that at least 5% of the money being transacted in the world is being laundered at any given point in time (Bulmer, 2013). These statistics are important because they show that while these funds are being laundered through one place, they are distributed to various parts of the world. This makes it even harder for the money from these illegal activities to be tracked and thus money laundering becomes difficult to stop or prevent. This also makes it harder for law enforcement officers to catch members of these criminal gangs (Baker, 2005). When they fail to catch these criminals, it sets the stage for more money laundering activities thus creating a form of vicious cycle. Past studies that have been conducted show that these criminal gangs use this layered money to sustain their activities and this has a negative impact on the economy (Gilbert, 2008). In countries struggling with widespread corruption, it becomes even more difficult to stop money laundering when this vicious cycle becomes embedded in the system.

3).Relevant Theoretical Perspectives/Framework

You should explain the perspective(s) that you will use to develop a theoretical framework to research and understand the problem and why you consider them to be most appropriate. You need to try to ensure that your proposed research is grounded in theory which will help you to structure and plan the research (as this will affect the research design, including your method(s) and how you analyse your findings). Looking at the theories and/or models that previous researchers in your topic area have used can help you with this. Note also that it is not always possible to find a theory that exactly matches your research problem. Therefore, you may need to take a more overarching view and look for theories that are relevant to the overall/general research topic area, rather than the specific research problem

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For this study to be valid, it is important for the right theoretical framework to be used. The framework should focus on the best conceptual areas around organized crime and money laundering. Organized crime is polyvalent in nature meaning it exists in different forms and these gangs use different techniques to achieve their outcomes. It is, therefore, important to consider how organized crime is formed and how it grows and then understand the regions or countries where organized crime is most prevalent.

After gaining an in depth understanding of organized crime, it will be easier to find the link between money laundering and organized crime. Since both organized crime and money laundering are problems all over the world, the theoretical framework should be as broad as possible to encompass all activities of these gangs…

Cite This Research Proposal:

"Link Between Organized Crime And Money Laundering In Contemporary Society" (2014, March 31) Retrieved February 18, 2018, from

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