Can you hide millions of pounds quickly? (For a fiction novel)?
I'm developing a concept for a new novel in which the main character has millions of pounds mistakenly deposited in his account. He decides to keep the money and run.
I want to know if it would be possible to quickly transfer this money out of his account and keep it hidden from government.
I've looked into cryptocurrency and this seems like the quickest route, but with my limited knowledge, I don't know exactly how this would work. I have ordered a few books on this topic as well as on money laundering in general.
Although this might not strictly be possible, particularly in the tens of millions, this is a work of fiction and I'm looking for the most believable way to move the story forward.
Any advice or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
Also, if there is a better place I could ask this question, I'd love to know.
Thanks in advance!
- NickLv 71 month ago
Yes, if you have a large suitcase and connections to the Mafia
- bluebellbkkLv 71 month ago
A major part of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" involved the girl travelling in Europe and visiting several banks to set up a hugely complicated financial scam. I enjoyed it enormously though the details frankly were miles over my head; all that's clear to me is that it would be crazy to try to write about this kind of thing without expert advice from real finance AND computer genius-level brains.
- j153eLv 71 month ago
A recent true-to-life example: U.S. monies were transferred to a Ukrainean oligarch for supposed use by Ukraine; however, the billions somehow "were lost" in the bank holding the money. It later was revealed that two third party countries (Latvia and one other) were used to "launder" the money.
And this is a counter-example, in that the same country (Latvia) flagged some allegedly dubious payments to a politician's son, appointed to a board to which he brought no expertise, but his father's influence: https://johnsolomonreports.com/latvian-government-...
So, for purposes of your novel, it would be dramatic if the money were transferred to e.g. a Latvian bank, who would likely "flag" it, hence your MC would be surveilled. Other ways to transfer wealth might include purchases of paintings, real estate in a foreign country, jewels, gold, and even commodity futures.
- TinaLv 71 month ago
The last time I heard this plot used was in a radio four serial, and to be honest, I don't remember how he did get away with it.
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- curtisports2Lv 71 month ago
Since it's fiction, you can do whatever you want. In real life, it would not be possible to move that much money that quickly into anything not traceable. Crypto leaves an electronic trail that any government could follow if it really wanted to. You would have to put it into precious metals or gemstones or some other hard asset that is fairly portable, or cash that can be hidden. But again, in the real world, you could not withdraw and convert tens of millions quickly. That large of a deposit made in error would be caught in 24 hours or less and attempts to retrieve it would begin immediately. In the real world, you might be able to withdraw and convert a small percentage, but they would be after you for that. In fiction, you can invent anything you want.
- 1 month ago
Realistically, if the character doesn't already know about this sort of thing, and doesn't already have offshore accounts to receive the money, he's not going to get away with it. Whoever was supposed to receive the money will know they didn't get it, and whoever sent the money will be trying to find out where it went. That won't take more than a few days, though it could take longer if the sender is in another country.
As Speed points out, the bank will probably have a limit on how much money the character can move in one transaction. If he makes lots of transactions under that limit, the bank will probably get suspicious, especially if the transactions are going to somewhere that he's never paid before.
Buying cryptocurrency is probably the least bad option. Your character will probably still get caught, but it'll be harder for the authorities to recover the money, so he might be able to enjoy it when he gets out of jail.
- SpeedLv 71 month ago
I don't know the UK laws about reporting transactions to the government. In the US it's anything $10,000 and over. So if your laws are similar to ours, your character is going to have to make a ridiculous number of transactions to convert money to cryptocurrency.
It's kind of stale, a movie trope, but opening an offshore account in another country, then wire transferring the money to it might be more feasible. And more boring for the reader.
If it's legally possible to withdraw the money as cash or a cashier's check, I'd recommend he invest it in something highly portable and durable: art, coins, like that. Again, though, it's been done many times.