The Flow of Illicit Funds

A Case Study Approach to Anti–Money Laundering Compliance

Ola M. Tucker

"The Flow of Illicit Funds is a very readable, current, and ready reference for the AML novice, the more seasoned criminal investigator or compliance officer, or anyone who wants to learn more about this complex and extremely important topic."
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High-profile case studies provide compliance professionals with a deep, holistic understanding of modern-day money laundering to better detect and deter it

Money laundering is a serious crime that presents a heightened, yet underrated, global threat. Although often thought of as a victimless crime, money laundering significantly impacts the global financial system, which leads to further crime, corruption, human exploitation, and environmental degradation and causes tremendous human suffering, especially in the most impoverished populations. Recent advances in technology, communications, and globalization mean there are more illicit funds in circulation today than ever before. In order to catch these criminals and expose their underground networks, compliance professionals must learn to navigate an increasingly complex web of criminal activity.

In The Flow of Illicit Funds, Ola M. Tucker goes beyond the implementation of anti–money laundering compliance programs offered by most guides and provides professionals with a holistic understanding of the modern money laundering system. Using recent case studies, Tucker explains some of the most common money laundering techniques used by criminals today, describes the key role of the financial system in the disguise and transfer of illicit funds, and offers valuable insight into how financial institutions can protect themselves from being used as conduits for the movement of dirty money. The book concludes by offering suggestions to help compliance professionals better detect and deter money laundering.

Through this unique perspective, compliance professionals and students will gain a broader overall understanding of the process of money laundering and the techniques criminals commonly use, including valuable insight into how criminals find legal loopholes and manipulate the financial system.

Table of Contents


1. Building a Foundation: Facts, Figures, and Misconceptions about Money Laundering

2. Anonymous: The Role of Shell Companies

3. Gaps in the Supply Chain: The Rise of Trade-Based Money Laundering

4. Pricey Parking for Illicit Funds: Money Laundering through Luxury Real Estate

5. A Dirty Business: Russian Laundromats

6. Over the Border and through the Bank: Money Mules and Cyber Mules

7. The Thriving Market of Modern-Day Slavery: Human Trafficking and Money Laundering

8. Intangible Coins and Blockchains: How Cryptocurrencies Fit into the Laundering Process

9. A More Linear Money Trail: Terrorist Financing

10. How We Got Here: A Historical Overview of Key AML Legislation

11. A Solid Defense: AML Compliance Program Requirements and Standards

12. Final Thoughts: Reflections and Recommendations

Selected Bibliography


About the Author


"Whether new to AML or an established veteran of 'follow the money' investigations, this magnificent work will take you to the next level. The Flow of Illicit Funds will become the defining reference for anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, and anti-terrorist financing initiatives. Thanks to this book, those who engage in money laundering will be put on the defensive."—James B. Johnston, Esq.,, litigation attorney, adjunct professor of law, and author of An Examination of New Jersey's Money

"The Flow of Illicit Funds is a very readable, current, and ready reference for the AML novice, the more seasoned criminal investigator or compliance officer, or anyone who wants to learn more about this complex and extremely important topic."—John A. Cassara, former US Intelligence Officer and former Treasury Special Agent


Supplemental Materials


About the Author

Ola M. Tucker holds a JD from Syracuse University College of Law. She is the founder of Compliance Notes, a compliance training consultancy that also provides compliance writing services. She is an adjunct instructor at Widener University’s Delaware Law School, where she teaches classes in the Graduate, International, Compliance, and Legal Studies (GICLS) Department. Her work includes the implementation and oversight of international and domestic compliance programs, as well as the design and delivery of compliance training across a range of institutions. You can learn more about Tucker at

248 pp., 6 x 9

ISBN: 978-1-64712-246-1
Jul 2022

248 pp., 6 x 9

ISBN: 978-1-64712-247-8
Jul 2022

248 pp.

ISBN: 978-1-64712-248-5
Jul 2022

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