Until today, Germany had one of the most backward and toothless anti-money-laundering laws in the developed world. Money-laundering was only a crime if the proceeds came from a very specific catalog of crimes, such drug trafficking, human trafficking or running a protection racket. The German parliament now finally passed a law broadening this catalog to all crimes.
Consequently, it is now illegal to disguise the origins of funds derived from any crime, including fraud, corruption, and breach of trust, to name a few. This development was long overdue and will benefit a great many of our corporate clients, who had filed money-laundering complaints against business partners, employees or other third-parties, after having been defrauded by them in one way or another. The criminal complaints, however, were often ignored by the authorities. That will be much harder from now on.
If your company has been recently affected by white-collar crime in Germany, your chances of nailing the culprits just got better. Talk to us if you are looking for creative ways to sue the perpetrators, which may include finding the money-laundering angle — which is always there.
Sebastian Okada heads the department for Investigations & Prevention | White-Collar Crime at Corporate Trust in Munich. He has conducted hundreds of investigations on all types of fraud and has extensive experience uncovering money-laundering techniques.
Katharina Stocker is an intelligence analyst und specialist for information gathering worldwide. She holds a masters in International Affairs from George Washington University in Washington D.C.
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