Government seeks agency for laundering campaign

WASHINGTON, DC: The US government is trying to make it harder for the bad guys to launder money - and is turning to the PR community for assistance.

WASHINGTON, DC: The US government is trying to make it harder for the bad guys to launder money - and is turning to the PR community for assistance.

WASHINGTON, DC: The US government is trying to make it harder for

the bad guys to launder money - and is turning to the PR community for

assistance.



By the end of next month, the Bureau of Public Debt is expected to have

chosen a PR agency to help it put a crimp in money-laundering

operations.



Word on the street is that four or five firms (reportedly including

Burson-Marsteller and Shandwick) have been invited to make oral

presentations for the account, potentially worth a sizable amount over a

multi-year period.



The PR program involves two distinct phases. First, the winning agency

will be asked to target businesses where money-laundering can occur

(such as check-cashing outlets and grocery and liquor stores). Then, the

firm will have to find a way to reach the people who work in such

establishments and make them aware of the need to report suspicious

activities.



A Treasury source added that the PR firm will also be asked to conduct a

nationwide public education campaign that may require ’the development

of a vast range of communications tools,’ as well as PR and market

research.



Central to the anti-laundering effort are new regulations that will

require companies in the money-services industry to register with the

Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. These

companies accounted for dollars 200 billion in financial transactions in

1996, and some have used sophisticated schemes to launder large amounts

of money that were the proceeds of illegal enterprises.



According to Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers, registering these

companies will help the department ’close off an avenue used by the

money launderers to move their illicit funds into the economy.’ While

the problem exists on a nationwide basis, several cities (Chicago,

Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami and New York) will receive heightened

attention.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.