Paul Manafort Was Stupid or Unlucky. Most Money Launderers Get Away With It.

These days, a money launderer has to be either very stupid or very unlucky to get caught.

In fact, data suggests the U.S. government’s efforts to enforce America’s money-laundering laws fail 99.9 percent of the time. As financial crime expert Raymond Baker notes, “Total failure is just a decimal point away.”

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All of which makes it all the more surprising that Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, President Trump’s former campaign chairman and his deputy, got busted last week. Special Counsel Robert Muller accused Manafort, with Gates’s help, of laundering approximately $30 million—an effort that, according to the indictment, began years ago but continued through their time on the Trump presidential campaign. The charges do not involve the president or his campaign.

Had Trump lost the election, Manafort and Gates might have gotten away with their alleged crimes. But now they’re caught up in Mueller’s investigation of

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