Female White-Collar Crime Divas-Mordern Day Thieves
The greatest crimes are caused by excess and not by necessity – Aristotle
Today, and throughout this week I will be blogging about international women in crime. As I mentioned at the creation of this blog site, white-collar crime is a world-wide problem and females’ involvement is increasing at epic rates.
Today’s Crime Divas is from Hong Kong. Lam Mei-ling, 61, was convicted of laundering over $6.8 billion (HK). The money was funneled through nine major Asia’s banks from the years 2002 through 2005. That is a lot of money circulating – in four years. Can you imagine how much is really being laundered being this is just one case world-wide?
Ms. Mei-ling is an unusual Crime Diva story, though she fits some of the profile that is a white-collar crime, lots of money, but the other factors/points were not as visible or rather I was not able to verify. According to reports, she lived in public housing (wow, with $6.8 billion passing through here hands) – was that a cover, or was she being used by someone. If so, it doesn’t seems like she benefited from her participation.
Ms. Mei-ling was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and to my understanding the prison systems are harsh in Asia. She is 61 years-old and will probably die in prison. What really bothers me is that no one else was charged, as of this writing, and obviously this 61 years old woman was not doing this for/by herself. The reports say she was depositing $155 million in these banks each month for four years. Something’s very fishy about this, because there is an agency, Joint Financial Intelligence Unit that monitors these financial transactions. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone on the inside of the JFI was paid off to look the other way. Unfortunately, ten years later Ms. Mei-ling is the person to take the fall.
Just weeks ago, the British bank giant HSBC settled on a $1.9 billion legal case for money laundering. How much money was actually involved has not been disclosed, but I’m sure it would make Ms. Mei-ling’s case look like pennies. No one is going to prison as a matter-of-fact the bank has been given deferred prosecution, which means the settlement has to be paid and some form of monitoring will be in place for a certain time period. The bank was charged with violating the Bank Secrecy Act and the Trading with the Enemy Act. All these charges will disappear off the records somewhere down the line, but there will forever be a record of it through the internet.
This was slap on the wrist for the bank laundering money for the Mexican drug-cartel and moving billions for Iran and other countries. It is a clear example of the injustice between the poor (Ms. Mei-ling) and the wealthy (HSBC).
Interesting yet, the Financial Service and the Treasury Bureau of Honk Kong stated that it is fully committed to combating money laundering, yet only Ms. Mei-ling has been convicted of the money laundering for the $6.8 billion (HK).
This should serve as a warning to women not to get involved in crime – you will do the time. Visit this site Monday and read about another international Crime Divas.