Virtual Economies and Financial Crime

Virtual Economies and Financial Crime

Money Laundering in Cyberspace

Clare Chambers-Jones

Clare Chambers-Jones examines the jurisprudential elements of cyber law in the context of virtual economic crime and explains how virtual economic crime can take place in virtual worlds. She looks at the multi-layered and interconnected issues association with the increasing trend of global and virtual banking via the ‘Second Life’ MMOG (Massively Multiplayer Online Game). Through this fascinating case study, the author illustrates how virtual worlds have created a second virtual economy which transgresses into the real, creating economic, political and social issues. Loopholes used by criminals to launder money through virtual worlds (given the lack of jurisdictional consensus on detection and prosecution) are also highlighted.

Chapter 7: Recommendations and Conclusion

Clare Chambers-Jones

Subjects: economics and finance, economic crime and corruption, money and banking, law - academic, corruption and economic crime, criminal law and justice, finance and banking law, information and media law, politics and public policy, terrorism and security


INTRODUCTION Virtual economic crime is an interesting phenomenon. Throughout human history we have seen how technology advances our lives and also lets criminals devise new ingenious ways of breaking the laws that society have agreed on. Virtual worlds are just one new opportunity for those wishing to break the law, but the manner in which virtual worlds could be regulated is very uncertain. Little regulation is in place to control and monitor the goings-on in virtual worlds, enabling criminals to take advantage of these loopholes in the law and commit financial crime. As we already know, financial crime can have devastating effects. For example, financial crime can be the starting point of funding terrorist activity. Within this book an examination of virtual economic crime and in particular of money laundering within Second Life has taken place. Each chapter has added its own twist and turn to the multifaceted aspects of virtual economic crime. In the second chapter, the history and evolution of the virtual world, Second Life, was discussed. The aim of the chapter was to explain and highlight how virtual worlds, although based on the internet, have evolved and grown in similar ways to how real societies have evolved and developed. The point of this was to explain that although the ethos of these worlds is to create a second life outside the realms of the laws and physics of the real world, the human psyche is ingrained in the structure and organisation of virtual worlds. For example, even...

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