Brief Review of the Money Laundering Control Act of 1986


Until 1986, money laundering was not considered a federal crime in the United States.

The Money Laundering Control Act of 1986 was passed by Congress and signed into law to criminalize money laundering activities.

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Money Laundering

Money laundering is an activity in which a money launderer engages in criminal or other illicit activities that generate funds/money and attempts to disguise the illicit source of the generated funds.



Objectives of the Money Laundering Control Act

The act was designed to achieve the four objectives below:

  1. To established money laundering as a prosecutable federal offense
  2. To mandate civil and criminal penalties for violating the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970
  3. To prohibit the ability of consumers who structure transactions that are met to evade currency transaction report filings
  4. To require banks and other financial institutions to develop and maintain Bank Secrecy Act procedures, recordings, and compliance policies


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