True tales of the T-men, Part 4: Uncovering crime syndicates, building out currency reporting

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WHEN : 04/22/2020 1:00 pm 2:00 pm ET

Part 4 of a special ACFCS four-part series covering the country’s early financial crime fighters: The U.S. uncovers national organized crime syndicates, requires banks to file monthly reports of suspicious cash transactions, the precursor of CTRs, SARs

By 1945, there were more than four billion dollars in $100 bills alone circulating in the wartime economy, more than double two years prior.  

Leading newspaper editorials at the time surmised that the overabundance of currency was the result a large-scale tax evasion among black market operations. Wartime rationing and price ceilings tied to the scarcity of daily commodities created a Prohibition-like environment for organized crime to exploit.   

Morgenthau launched the largest concentrated sweep of tax evasion in the nation’s history and turned to Irey to hatch and execute a trail-blazing plan that has tendrils to the modern day anti-money laundering (AML) program.   

In a bid to more expeditiously bring cases for prosecution from the non-banked underground economy, Irey devised a protocol to identify large currency expenditures at casinos, jewelry stores and fur establishments – operations where large amounts of cash could move quickly and easily.  

The success of Irey’s efforts led to Morgenthau ordering banks to file monthly reports of suspicious currency transactions (a precursor to CTRs and SARs). To work all the leads generated, Treasury embarked on an ambitious campaign to recruit 10,000 tax enforcement employees with an emphasis on hiring war veterans.   

Attendee learning goals:

  • Understand the tactics used by investigators to combat tax evasion during a massive expansion of currency in circulation.
  • Get into the minds of criminals who used WW2 as a way to expand their operations, sending illicit tentacles into more areas than ever before.
  • Gain fresh insight into the legacy of Elmer Irey as America’s top follow-the-money cop, a figure that formed the foundation many investigators walk today.
  • Step back in time to the watershed moment of the Kefauver Hearings, which revealed the true shocking scope and existence of National organized crime syndicates.
  • Learn lessons from the significant role the Intelligence Unit played in rooting out organized crime and corruption during the 1950s.