Financial crime is widely seen as victimless. In reality, these activities generate unthinkable harm worldwide, financing terrorism and illegal trafficking in weapons, drugs, looted antiquities, endangered wildlife and human beings. About 40 million people are being held captive today in human slavery, more than in all of world history. Ten million are children and 1 million children are enslaved for sexual exploitation.

The United Nations estimates that financial crime exceeds $1.6 trillion annually and that less than 1% of the criminals are caught, creating a lucrative and low-risk opportunity that attracts larger and more sophisticated criminal networks. The 99% failure rate persists even as government and the financial industry spend tens of billions of dollars each year to track illicit funds.

The cause of this is simple: criminals use cutting-edge technology, and the forces arrayed against them do not. Criminals also can readily share information, disguising money by channeling it through multiple transactions, often on a global scale.

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