“Funnel” (initial entry) and “buffer” (secondary) accounts in major U.S. banks, and the ostensible “sovereignty” of the “Knights of Malta” have been used to launder boiler room proceeds and evade justice, according to court documents. The series of related cases revealed by these documents should be read by those in the banking sector seeking to prevent the placement and layering of the proceeds of crime through multiple bank accounts ostensibly owned by businesses engaged in money transfer-rich businesses, such as payroll.

The documents relate to U.S. enforcement cases connected to the indictment and conviction of investment adviser Richard Faithfull by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and have revealed the modi operandi of a network of money launderers. The cases are: USA v Douglas Edwin Casimiri, Mary Kathryn Marr and Michel Marc Chateau; USA v Rose Marie Casimiri and Albert Michael Rivere; USA v Brooks Thomas Nesbitt; USA v Massimiliano Turi, Alexander Landa and Layne Gerstel; USA v Winslow; and USA v Jedlicki. Asset forfeiture actions related to the network indicate that major banks, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase Bank and Citibank, have been used by the launderers.

The FCA charged Faithfull with money laundering, contrary to Section 327 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The offence related to activity between June 1, 2017 and August 1, 2018. Following a guilty plea, Faithfull has now been sentenced to five years and 10 months’ imprisonment…

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