A Miami attorney spent a decade laundering millions for the mob. He was in Sioux Falls today to teach bankers how to better spot this kind of financial crime.
It sounds more like a script off the 1980's TV show Miami Vice. But it was real life for money launderer Ken Rijock.
The successful Miami attorney says he got involved with the wrong people and made a decision that forever changed his life.
"Otherwise I would just be a 60-something bank lawyer in Miami," Ken Rijock said.
Instead, he is now the author of The Laundry Man, which chronicles his escapades in the underground world of the mob until he got caught.
"I dealt with and represented a lot of American, Canadian and Columbian traffickers. I was fairly careful about who I worked with because I just didn't want to be a statistic. But the point is that it was a very fast-paced lifestyle," Rijock said.
Angela Kennecke: How easy was it to launder money?
Ken Rijock: Easier than brushing your teeth, unfortunately.
Rijock spent two years in prison. He was able to get his sentence reduced after helping the government crack a Swiss money laundering case. Once out, Rijock became a financial crime consultant.
"The people who were involved in financial crime, unfortunately they have training and experience just as good as the people trying to catch us. And if they understand us a little more; they're in the position to stop us," Rijock said.
Rijock now spends his time traveling across the country promoting his book and talking to companies like Meta Payment Systems about how to prevent and catch the kinds of crimes he committed. He says while the laws have gotten tougher, technology actually makes money laundering easier.
"It's even easier now because you can do something in the privacy of your own office, which before required you to travel overseas and leave a paper trail," Rijock said.
While it seems like a victimless crime, the illegal activity does have an indirect and direct effect on our entire economy.
Rijock says his next step is having his book turned into a Hollywood movie.