time suggests US biggest money launderer

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A Harvard based anti-corruption campaigner, Raymond Baker, is taking his fight to the G20 grouping of the world's biggest economies - a rare voice targeting big countries, not small.

Time magazine added that "the U.S. just might be the world's biggest washing machine for dirty money." Baker concurs, noting that the U.S. Treasury Department asserts that virtually 100 percent of dirty money presented for deposit in the United States is accepted into secure accounts. (In March, Wachovia Bank made a $160 million settlement with the Justice Department, agreeing it had been lax about accepting drug money from Mexico.) While U.S. law is tough on drug trafficking, terrorist financing, bank fraud, and theft by foreign government officials, Baker notes, "It does not bar proceeds generated abroad from activities such as handling stolen property, counterfeiting, contraband, environmental crimes, and foreign tax evasion."

Baker is a member of Global Financial Integrity, which estimates just 3% of more than US$2 trillion in corruption comes from bribery, up to 35% for organised crime, while 65% comes from transnational corporations evading tax and so on. Baker quotes the London based Tax Justice Network as placing the US state of Delaware as the top of its most secret havens.

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