The Blog Of The Securities Industry Professional Association




The US Government has uncovered a global scam in which members of the barbaric terror group ISIS were using EBAY to launder money and send cash to foreign operatives.  In this scam, a terrorist with an EBAY account would take pictures of fictitious items, offer them up for bid or purchase and ISIS operatives would send the money.

U.S. investigators uncovered a global financial network run by a senior Islamic State official that funneled money to an alleged ISIS operative in the U.S. through fake eBay transactions, according to a recently unsealed FBI affidavit.

The alleged recipient of the funds was an American citizen in his early 30s who had been arrested more than a year ago in Maryland after a lengthy Federal Bureau of Investigation surveillance operation that found the first clues to the suspected network.”

Amazing in its simplicity but disturbing in its stupidity.  The entire small capital formation has basically come to a halt in the US the last ten years due to concerns over AML.  Every company that is publicly traded on the Pinks or Bulletin Boards is now shunned by most clearing firms. Due to the onerous AML rules in place, most brokerage firms will not help a small company raise capital and perhaps reverse into a shell for fear of being treated like Al Capone.  Meanwhile, ISIS is laughing at us and using EBAY to continue its terror projects.  There once was a time when a small company could do a private raise, hire people and then do a low-priced offering, however today most clearing firms will not touch a stock certificate.  Between due diligence checks, AML, SAR’s filing and money transfer reporting, it’s just not worth it.  We make laundering money easy for ISIS but difficult for thousands of small firms who are registered with the SEC.  This is very similar to our immigration policy in which we have tens of thousands of immigrants on hold to legally enter the country, but then have politicians who advocated taking hundreds of thousands of immigrants from war torn ISIS countries with little or no vetting. They put on hold a family from England looking to come to America legally, but look the other way as millions have entered illegally.  Maybe I live in a utopian common-sense world that only makes sense in my mind, but the shocking news of this scam once again reminds me that the Financial Industry is a bunch of men and women who are suckers.  They get registered, fingerprinted, bonded, insured, they take numerous exams, take continuing education, try to do the right thing for their customers and yet they are the ones harassed by regulations?  Perhaps it’s time to just form an EBAY exchange and sell small cap stocks there?

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August 16th, 2017



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