Fincen Director Gives Shout-Out to 'Breaking Bad'


TV watchers know Saul Goodman simply as a sleazy lawyer. But there's a more formal way to describe the character played by comic actor Bob Odenkirk on the hit series "Breaking Bad."

"For the 'Breaking Bad' fans out there, Saul Goodman would be a third party money launderer," Jennifer Shasky Calvery, director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, said in prepared remarks Thursday.

Calvery was illustrating the point that money laundering by third parties is a growing concern at Fincen.

"Third party money launderers are professional money launderers," Calvery said at an anti-money laundering conference in Miami. "Using their connections, professional expertise, and influence, third party money launderers transfer funds on behalf of others, knowing that the funds are involved in illicit activity."

She described various schemes that these individuals use to infiltrate banks, including "using false documentation."

For the uninitiated, "Breaking Bad" is about a meth producer in Albuquerque, N.M. Saul Goodman is the drug dealer's lawyer. He eagerly creates false documents in order to launder money, and also serves as the show's comic relief.

"I'll generate false currency transaction reports out the wazoo," Goodman exclaims in one Season 3 episode, "as well as the necessary W-2Gs, and a couple of casino managers who will jump at the chance to report false losses. It's a win-win for everyone!"

"Breaking Bad" recently ended its run, but a spin-off featuring the Saul Goodman character is currently in development. It's titled "Better Call Saul."



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