Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur
jducoeur

As always, it's the coverup that gets you

Latest instance: the Albany Times-Union ran a fine little story about how Eliot Spitzer managed to trip himself up.

The really fun part is that they managed to get their hands on the SAR that started it all, and put it online -- it's fascinating reading, at least as far as mandatory legal documents go. SAR is short for "Suspicious Activity Report" -- it's basically the form that banks are required to file any time they come across anything that looks non-trivially strange. When you get past the first couple of pages of boilerplate, it spends a couple of long page detailing exactly what happened.

Short version: Spitzer got taken down because he tried to make a wire transfer anonymously (a legal no-no). To make matters worse, the banker representing him then tried to argue that they had let him make this *other* (larger) wire transfer anonymously before, so why not let him do it again? That wound up setting off money-laundering alarms (the acronym "AML" pops up -- that's the anti-money-laundering unit at the bank), and everybody started getting more and more curious as they dug into all the shell companies involved in the transaction.

Frankly, from the sound of things, they were looking for something much more interesting than a simple call girl ring -- I suspect they were disappointed by the end result, spectacular though it was. At the time they filed the SAR, it looked like it might be something much more criminal, frankly...
Tags: politics
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