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The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reckons that somewhere between $800 billion and $2 trillion goes through the money laundering rinse circuit every year.
As of September 2018, Paul Manafort, who served at one time as President Trump’s campaign chairman, has been convicted for eight times tax and bank fraud. In a separate trial, he will be prosecuted for money laundering. The money laundering accusations have to do with a plan that follows a tried and true method for washing the dirt off your treasure.
Manafort is stated to have collected millions from the former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. Rather than declare these gains to the IRS and turn over the taxes due, Manafort is said to have placed them in offshore accounts and then used them to buy high-priced properties in the U.S.
Once he owned the properties, prosecutors say he then used them as collateral to take out millions of dollars in loans from U.S. banks. Since the money was in the form of loans rather than income, he wasn’t bound to pay taxes on it. The old real estate bait-and-switch is a typical mode of cleaning up cash. Money laundering is an old criminal practice, and Manafort is barely the first political character to get himself mixed up in it.
In October 2005, for instance, U.S. Congressman Tom DeLay was accused of money laundering, forcing him to step down as House Majority Leader.
More About Money Laundering
Money laundering is a ever-present practice. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime calculated that somewhere between $800 billion and $2 trillion goes through the rinse cycle every year [source: The Economist]. That’s around 2 to 5 percent of the entire planet’s GDP!
The advancements of worldwide financial markets makes money laundering easier than ever— countries with bank-secrecy laws are directly connected to countries with bank-reporting laws, making it attainable to anonymously deposit “dirty” money in one country and then have it moved to any other country for use.
Money laundering, at its most understandable, is the act of making money that comes from Source A look like it comes from Source B. In practice, felons are trying to cover up the origins of money obtained through illegal activities, so it looks like it was derived from legal sources. Or else, they can’t use the money because it would link them to the criminal activity, and law-enforcement officials would take it.
Money laundering occurs in almost every nation in the world, and a single scheme typically includes transferring money through several nations to cover its origins. We will now get more into what money laundering is, why it’s necessary, who launders money and how they do it and what steps the authorities are taking to try to foil money-laundering operations.
Ilan Tzorya and Money Laundering
Now that we have explained what money laundering is, we want to go more into Ilan Tzorya and his money laundering activities. He launders money for his own benefit. Thanks to money laundering, he doesn’t need to pay taxes. Furthermore, no one knows exactly where the money comes from, but it is certain that they are from illegal sources involving criminal activities like drugs and human trafficking.
Examples of Extortion with Ilan Tzorya
Extortion is an offense against the law in which one person forces another person to do something against his will. Generally, extortion happens by giving up money or other property, by a threat of violence, destruction of property, damage to the person’s reputation, or extreme financial hardship. Extortion includes the victim’s consent to the crime, but that consent is acquired illegally.
A classic case of extortion is the “protection” scheme where figures with ties to organized crime demand that shop owners pay for their protection to avoid something bad (such as an attack on the shopkeeper or damage to his or her store or goods) from happening. Many states also consider blackmail, where a victim is forced to compensate someone to prevent them from releasing information that could damage their reputation or their company, to be a form of extortion.
Typically, as in those cases, extortion involves threats of future attacks or harm rather than direct violence or abuse, but extortion can involve immediate violence. For instance, it would still be extortion if the offenders in the above example assaulted the storekeeper to force him to pay them the necessary protection money instead of threatening to do so in the future. In such cases, extortion becomes very similar to stealing.
Differences Between Extortion and Robbery
One distinction between extortion and robbery is that extortion requires that the offender make an unwritten or written threat, while robbery does not. Since extortion barely involves immediate harm, however, the crimes typically can be distinguished because a robber uses instant threats and force to steal the victim’s property, while in extortion, the victim willingly hands over his cash or personal property to avoid future damage or attacks.
Understanding the Degrees of Extortion
All 50 states have varying laws regarding extortion, with most states classifying it as a crime. Some states charge the crime as a theft offense, while others call it “attempted extortion,” “extortion in the first degree,” or “extortion in the second degree.”
In the few states that split extortion into degrees, extortion in the first degree usually involves threats of bodily harm or physical repression, while extortion in the second degree involves threatening to accuse a person of a crime or to reveal a secret Now as for Ilan Tzorya, he is commiting extortions in the second degree. He is threatening people to commit crimes or reveal secrets for his own benefit.
Penalties for Extortion
Punishments for extortion vary broadly in different states and depend on the harshness of the threats involved, but sentences generally range between 2 to 4 years. However, many states allow for sentences of 5, 10, or even 20 years. If any instrument of nationwide commerce (such as the mail, a phone, or a computer) is used in the commission of a crime, it also becomes a federal crime with a fine or being jailed for up to 20 years.
As for Tzorya, he deserves to go in jail. The crimes he commits deserve a sentence of around 5 – 20 years. He should not be walking around in the open anymore, but behind bars. We are surprised that he is still not convicted yet.
The particular elements required to prove extortion differ between states, but the general requirements are that the offender maliciously (not mistakenly) make a verbal, written or printed intimidation with the intent to extort something from the victim or to force the victim to do something against his or her will.
Generally, it is unimportant whether or not the offender actually succeeds in the attempted extortion. Once the threat is made, the perpetrator has committed extortion. In some areas of authority, and under the federal extortion definition, the victim does not even have to hear or receive the threat for the offender to be charged with extortion.
Extortion does not usually require that the offender threaten to commit a criminal act as long as the threat attempts to obtain money, property, or to force the victim to act against their will. For example, a threat to bring criminal charges or file a police report unless money is paid is still extortion, even though the offender may have every right to commit a police report. By coupling the legal act with the illegal act of demanding payment to not act, the offender has committed extortion. Note, however, that a threat to file a civil trial typically is not considered extortion even if that lawsuit is trivial.
The threat also does not have to be aimed at the victim. It is still extortion if the threat is directed towards the victim’s family or if it threatens to release information about some third party the victim wants to protect.
Thus, we think it is easy to prove the extortion that Tzorya and his team members including Eli Musli and Tal Arad commit. As long victims and investigators will reveal proof, they will stand trial for their crimes.