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February 29, 1996|Times Staff and Wire Reports

House Panel Warned About Money Laundering: Organized crime in the banking system, including money laundering and other financial scams, is raising national security and foreign policy concerns, witnesses told the House Banking Committee. Money laundering--used by drug dealers and other criminals to deposit illegal profits--now moves as much as $500 billion through the system annually. Such scams can no longer be considered "white-collar" crime, because they're used by organized criminal groups to support drug dealing, illegal arms trafficking and murder, panel chairman Rep. Jim Leach (R-Iowa) said. The wide-ranging hearing sought to determine the extent of organized crime's infiltration into the financial system.

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