Money Laundering

Money Laundering

Email Icon

ICE leads money laundering and financial crime investigations. In recent decades, U.S. law enforcement has encountered an increasing number of major financial crimes, frequently resulting from the needs for drug trafficking organizations to launder large sums of criminal proceeds through legitimate financial institutions and investment vehicles.


Cornerstone is ICE's initiative to detect and close down weaknesses within U.S. financial, trade and transportation sectors that can be exploited by criminal networks. Law enforcement entities share criminal typologies and methods with businesses and industries that manage the very systems that terrorists and criminal organizations seek to exploit. This sharing of information allows the financial and trade community to take precautions in order to protect themselves from exploitation. (read more)

El Dorado Task Force

The El Dorado Task Force consists of more than 260 members from more than 55 law enforcement agencies in New York and New Jersey—including federal agents, state and local police investigators, intelligence analysts and federal prosecutors. The El Dorado Task Force is headquartered at the New York Special Agent in Charge Office and at other locations in the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan area.

The El Dorado Task Force targets financial crime at all levels. Task force agents educate the private financial sector to identify and eliminate vulnerabilities and promote anti-money laundering legislation through training and other outreach programs. Prosecutors use a full range of criminal and civil laws to prosecute targets and forfeit the proceeds of their illicit activity. The El Dorado Task Force uses a systems-based approach to investigating financial crimes by targeting vulnerabilities such as the Black Market Peso Exchange and commodity-based money laundering.

Foreign Corruption Investigations

Many developing nations are plagued by corrupt foreign officials who plunder state coffers for personal gain and then attempt to place those funds in the U.S. financial system. ICE leads investigations against corrupt foreign public officials who have used U.S. financial institutions and other investment vehicles to facilitate criminal acts involving the laundering of proceeds emanating from foreign public corruption, bribery or embezzlement. (read more)

Trade-Based Money Laundering

Trade-based money laundering is an alternative remittance system that allows illegal organizations the opportunity to earn, move and store proceeds disguised as legitimate trade. Value can be moved through this process by false-invoicing, over-invoicing and under-invoicing commodities that are imported or exported around the world.

Criminal organizations frequently exploit global trade systems to move value around the world by employing complex and sometimes confusing documentation associated with legitimate trade transactions. ICE established the Trade Transparency Unit initiative to target trade-based money laundering worldwide. (read more)

Recent News

2/13/2013 Los Angeles, CA 3 Los Angeles-area residents indicted in large-scale phony credit card scheme

2/11/2013 Las Vegas, NV Wife of senator in the Philippines sentenced for bulk cash smuggling

2/7/2013 Denver, CO Boulder, Colo., man arrested on drug-related money laundering charges

2/5/2013 Fresno, CA San Jose owners of online clothing business arrested on multiple fraud and money laundering charges

2/4/2013 Pittsburgh, PA Pennsylvania accountant pleads guilty to alien harboring conspiracy, violating federal tax laws

2/1/2013 Baltimore, MD Maryland resident pleads guilty in credit card fraud scheme involving more than 50 victims

read more