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Cash and Money Laundering – A Primer
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I’ve been around in the underground scene in various other enterprises for a long time and have learned a lot in my experiences. I’ve been busted a few times (mostly cuz of stupid partners), but thankfully they’ve never been able to gather enough evidence to convict me on anything. My main point where I’ve needed security has been online and financial transactions, but they can be carried over to here as well if you have any large-scale grow op going and want to protect your financial assets. For those that don’t know – anything that is held in an offshore jurisdiction that the US LEO’s don’t know about is not going to be included in any forfeiture proceedings. That is mainly what this post is going to be focused on.
We’ll start with the security of your computer itself, as a lot of growers now are using computers to email, IM, and otherwise converse with other growers. They also are increasingly using computers to conduct financial transactions, and more than likely would not like these transactions to be widely accessible to LEO. There are a few programs that everyone concerned with security should have installed. And guys, actually BUY these programs. They are worth the money. The main program that people should have installed is a program called DriveCrypt ($49.95), and its brother DriveCrypt Plus Pack ($149.95). Both of these programs can be obtained from www.securstar.com
DCPP is a program that encrypts your entire hard drive with a 256-bit AES encryption algorithm. Every time you turn on your computer, you will need to enter 2 passwords to even load the operating system. Some enterprising LEO’s get the bright idea every now and then of just pulling your hard drive out and sticking it in another computer, but DCPP prevents exactly that from happening, as it encrypts every single byte on your hard drive. And with even a modest password, 256-bit encryption would take more than 1000 lifetimes to break on the fastest computers in the world.
The program DriveCrypt itself creates individual encrypted container files on your hard drive ranging in size from a few Kb to 4Gb, with up to 1344-bit encryption. Do the math on 1344-bit encryption and you’ll see that anything hidden in those container files is essentially safe for all eternity.
All of this encryption means nothing though if your passwords are easy to guess. I won’t get into the mechanics of why passwords are good or bad, but its simple to say the longer the better. A very simple and extremely secure way of choosing passwords is to pick a phrase from a song you like, and replace a few letters with hacker-style writing. Example – if your phrase was "Bye, bye, miss american pie" make the password "Bye, bye, mi55 @meric@n p13" or something to that effect. Just to give you an idea, using a password of that length (which contains letters numbers and symbols) and running 300 TRILLION TRILLION tries per second, it would take over 100 quadrillion centuries to run through every possible combination. If the passwords are case sensitive that number goes up exponentially. And that’s assuming that there’s no other encryption involved. Bottom line – choose good passwords.
Also, for the really paranoid there’s a program called "Don’t Touch" that will destroy a pre-specified set of files or directories if a certain key combo isn’t held down at startup. If it was set to destroy the encryption programs and then itself, it would not only erase all records of its existence, it would further complicate LE’s efforts to crack your computer, because not only would they not know your passwords, they wouldn’t even know what kind of encryption you were using in the first place.
E-mail is often overlooked as an area that needs to be secure. In the new police state USA, email is looked over constantly, so you need to make sure your e-communications are as encrypted as your computer. Currently the 2 best out there are Hushmail (www.hushmail.com) and MailVault (www.mailvault.com). Both offer free encrypted email and are just as easy to use as Hotmail or any other free provider. That’s really all I’ll say on that.
Now as far as online security goes, that’s fairly simple. Have the latest anti-virus and anti-trojan programs installed and scan regularly. Never download anything from someone you don’t know, and never go to web pages you don’t trust. There are an increasing number of flaws found in operating systems that are taken advantage of by malicious web pages. Make sure the virus definitions are up to date as well. And whenever you’re browsing anything that you might want to not tie to yourself, use anonymous proxies to connect. This includes your email. While both HushMail and MailVault don’t send your IP with your email, it’s still a good idea because you never know when LE is going to come knocking on their doors.
There are hundreds of sites on how proxies work, their different levels, and how to use proxies with all the web browsers so I won’t get into that. Just search google. But one thing I do want to mention is that make sure your proxies are at LEAST level 2, preferably level 1 and non-logging. There are lots of free sites (www.samair.ru/proxy/) that have proxies, but always check your proxy’s anonymity level at http://www.allsyntax.com/cgi-bin/proxy/prox.cgi to be sure its safe. Level 1 non-logging proxies will return "perfect proxy" and are typically something you have to pay a few bucks for, but are well worth the added feeling of security. There are proxies available that you can use with your IM clients as well, and they are just as good an idea to have and use. Remember – always distance yourself as far as possible from illegal activities.
Protecting financial assets is probably one of the biggest concerns of major sellers, and the internet has made this task infinitely easier and more secure. There are literally dozens of places you can hold your illegally-obtained funds in complete safety and security, well beyond the reach of US pigs.
One of the most widely-utilized and secure operations is a combination of 3 e-currency providers – E-gold, WebMoney, and NetPay Gold. All 3 of these work much like PayPal, but without all of the ID requirements.
E-gold (www.e-gold.com) is probably the most popular e-payment system in the world next to PayPal, and for good reason. It has strong security (even offering IP restrictions), is easy to use, and is anonymous. They ask for personal information when you sign up for an account, but it is never verified. It is very easy to fund an e-gold account by cashier’s check, money order, Western Union, bank wire, or a host of other methods. While e-gold is very secure and anonymous, it is still based in the USA, so it is within the reach of LE, and e-gold will occasionally investigate high-dollar (usually $10,000+) transactions, so it is best to turn it into WebMoney. This can be done at a host of sites listed on the e-gold website. I personally use www.roboxchange.com to turn my e-gold to webmoney, but it is always best to ask around about any e-currency exchange agent as there have been a few scams in the past. Don’t get the wrong idea though, there have been PayPal scams in the past as well. Just always do your research before sending your hard-earned money off to someone you don’t know.
Webmoney (www.wmtransfer.com) is one of the most secure forms of e-payment in the entire world. It was originally created by Russian organized crime rings as a way to transfer the massive profits generated from credit card fraud and identity theft securely around the world, but has now gained worldwide usage. It is based in Latvia. Because the majority of Latvia’s economy is focused on banking, it has one of the most stable currencies in the world. Webmoney makes use of "purses" which are essentially numbered bank accounts created and destroyed on the fly for each transaction. It uses 128-bit certificates to verify user’s identities, has no ID requirements, and is very very easy to use.
NetPay gold (www.netpay.tv) is essentially the same as e-gold, but they offer one very unique advantage – an anonymous ATM card with a daily withdrawal limit of $10,000. And it can be used at any ATM around the world that shows the Cirrus logo (virtually every ATM). These ATM cards are issued by LoyalBank in St Vincent, a former possession of the British Commonwealth that has followed the same suit as Latvia. They do require a fax and/or scan of an ID, but they never verify anything. I’m sure you guys can see where I’m going with all of this "they never verify" stuff. And for the slow, this means use a fake ID.
Now for a basic summary of how to use all this e-currency jumbalaya, here it is. Open an e-gold account using whatever info you feel like, as long as it’s not your own. Open a webmoney account too, and make sure you burn a copy of the certificate file to a CD (youll understand what I mean when you sign up). Put this CD in a secure location and DO NOT LOSE IT. If you ever lose your computer this CD will be the only way you can get at your Webmoney account. Whenever you have an amount of cash you want to hide, go buy USPS or Western Union money orders. Send them to an e-gold market-maker (how you buy egold) and get the money in e-gold. Then get a NetPay ATM card (explained next).
Get a fake ID (one with a different NAME) and go open up a Mailboxes, Etc.. box. They are available in every major metropolitan area in the USA. Make sure you go get 2 copies of the key made at Home Depot or something so that it doesnt say MBE anywhere on the key and put one in the secure location with your CD. Now sign up for an ATM card at www.netpay.tv using whatever info you opened the MBE with and fax or email them a copy of your fake ID. They charge a few $$ to get you the card. Pay it. They will then mail you an ATM card in a few weeks.
Now don’t keep your fake ID’s with you after using them initially, that’s a whole new crime altogether. The best thing to do is to open a storage garage with it for like $15 a month, and keep everything you want to hide (spare computer, that CD, ID’s, some emergency cash, etc..) there.
At this point you should turn all your e-gold into webmoney, but if you have a small enough amount (under $10k) it’s probably not necessary as long as you have your computer secured. This is just an added step for the high-rollers to be more secure. Keep in mind that you can have as many egold accounts as you can remember account #’s and passwords for.
Now you have a whole bunch of money sitting in webmoney, but what do you do with it? NOTHING unless you absolutely have to. Keep all your money from selling in webmoney, out of the reach of LE. Don’t keep it in e-gold. Don’t keep it into your NetPay account (if they confiscated the ATM card you’d be fucked). The operators of webmoney would never give out any users’ info, but even if they wanted to they couldn’t cuz all they have is an email address. If you want to get a bunch a cash, transfer the webmoney to egold and then to your netpay account, and then go to the ATM and take the cash out. Keep in mind you lose about 8% through all this in fees, so make sure you do the withdrawals as little as possible.
If for some reason LE does manage to get a hold of your computer and arrest you, now you don’t have to worry about them seizing all your money. You still have that CD hidden away at a secure location they know nothing about. When you get everything finished up with the court system, make a new NetPay account and get a new ATM card. If you want to be real secure, go to your storage garage, bust out your fake ID, and get a new MBE before you get a new ATM card. Then transfer your WebMoney to egold then to netpay, and go cash out. And if LE wants to look all over your financial records state-side during your case, let them, they won’t find shit
Oh one other thing – DON’T BRAG ABOUT YOUR SHIT. Most convictions come from people opening their mouths. So keep your mouth shut and just be happy that when you finally DO get out, you’ve got a whole bunch a money waiting for you
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