ABG ArtBookGuy
  Art For All PeopleŽ    We Talk Contemporary Art    April 2017
MONEY LAUNDERING

It’s always such a pleasant surprise.

While taking some clothes out of the washing machine and putting them into the dryer, I felt something strange in one of my pairs of pants.

I reached into the pocket and sure enough…

… it was a folded-up $10 bill. Nice!

I had forgotten about it. It was all fresh and clean … slightly damp, of course, but perfectly intact and ready for spending or saving or whatever. I’ll try not to spend it all in one place.

This little occurrence got me thinking about this…

What do you do when you’ve got a large stash of cash from questionable sources? Needless to say, this means you’re probably a crook and you’re going to do something shady and illegal … like investing it into something that makes it look clean…

Like a $30 million, high-rise apartment in Manhattan … or how about …

ART?

Look, I’m not a detective, nor am I a cop or a federal prosecutor, but do you have to be Albert Einstein to figure out that some of these super-rich purchases being made today leave a lot to be questioned?

When you’re dropping $20 million here and $30 million there in the same way that we might spend a few bucks on a jar of peanut butter, something might not be quite up to snuff.

However, it’s not as if I actually know. They say that when you’re a writer you should only write what you know. Yet while I have no proof of anything, I just know that some of these multimillion dollar purchases on material things … that can go up in flames in a heartbeat … probably aren’t all clean.

“Investing” that money is like spraying a muddy pig with Windex. Yes, the pig will feel and even smell the Windex, but will little piggy end up clean?

I doubt it.

Is putting lipstick on a pitbull suddenly going to make it resemble Taylor Swift?

Of course not.

I don’t know. I just always wonder whenever I hear about these huge purchases that involve astronomical amounts of money for houses and art.

Oftentimes, in the cases of the houses, they come with very little acreage … and in the cases of the art, it’s not always that great.

What really gives me greatest concern are the realtors and art dealers that enable this. They’re 100% complicit. No one is asking them to call the cops, but at the same time, when you deal with mobsters, doesn’t that make you part of the mob? I’m sure Tony Soprano would agree.

And just so that I’m clear, I’m talking about obvious instances where you just KNOW you’re helping a flat-out crook stash his or her ill-gotten gains. You know it because your gut tells you. You’re not stupid. You just look the other way.

Look … for those of you who worked hard for your money and you got it the right way, rock on. No laundering necessary. But for those who are trying to erase their sordid past by washing their money …

Good luck finding peace … if you even still have a conscience.

As for me, I’ll be satisfied with my “newly-cleansed,” $10 bill. Believe me you, it was always as clean as a whistle.

 

 

 

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