Marschdorf Forensics


Fast-Spinning Laundromat

The Attorney General of a country commonly referred to as a tax haven country had received a mutual legal assistance request from a foreign country. The prime minister of that country had allegedly accepted bribes from a well-known businessman in that country. The businessman had kept several accounts with sub-accounts in various currencies and had allegedly used these accounts to pay a bribe equivalent to $ 20 million.

The authorities subpoenaed the accounts and an investigation of the account activities followed. As is often the case in such investigations, the documentation was not provided electronically, but in mediocre quality copies. Optical Character Recognition software failed. After tedious data entry, the analysis of the various accounts showed extensive transactions of funds between the various accounts. Amounts were split, transferred in various portions, invested in securities, divested and co-mingled with other funds. A pattern became visible towards the later stage of the money transfers. The amounts became more and more similar, close to $ 20 million. Finally, one of the transactions was not transferred internally, but to an outside account, for which the foreign country investigative authorities had already established indirect ownership by the prime minister. The businessman had already passed away at that point and no criminal charges were laid. The estate had to pay back-taxes and penalties and the prime minister, who had fled the country and sought asylum in a third country was sentenced in absentia. The mandate ended there, and it was never established, whether the businessman had acted alone or together with other financiers.