Explaining fraud: What is securities fraud and money laundering?

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Money Fraud 101

The term "securities fraud" covers a wide range of illegal activities, all of which involve the deception of investors or the manipulation of financial markets.

These include:
  • High yield investment fraud
  • Ponzi schemes
  • Pyramid schemes
  • Advanced fee schemes
  • Foreign currency fraud
  • Broker embezzlement
  • Hedge fund related fraud
  • Late day trading

Money laundering is the process by which criminals conceal or disguise their proceeds and make them appear to have come from legitimate sources.

Money laundering allows criminals to hide and accumulate wealth, avoid prosecution, evade taxes, increase profits through reinvestment, and fund further criminal activity.

The four essential elements of the crime of wire fraud are:
  1. That the defendant voluntarily and intentionally devised or participated in a scheme to defraud another out of money;
  2. That at the defendant did so with the intent to defraud;
  3. That it was reasonably foreseeable that interstate wire communications would be used; and
  4. That interstate wire communications were in fact used
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