Virtual Economies and Financial Crime
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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.
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Chapter 5: A Real Crime in a Virtual World

Clare Chambers-Jones


But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. (1 Timothy 6: 4–11) INTRODUCTION So far in this book the nature and development of virtual worlds has been discussed with particular reference to legal jurisdiction and also virtual crimes, namely the financial crime of money laundering. Within this chapter, virtual money laundering will be discussed. In order to do this the chapter will set out what virtual money laundering is and how it occurs within virtual worlds. The chapter also acknowledges that not all academics are of the belief that virtual money laundering occurs, thereby discussing the arguments for and against the presence of virtual money laundering. This bifurcation of beliefs about virtual money laundering stems from the lack of prosecutable evidence owing to the lack of legal structure and jurisprudence in the virtual worlds. This book expresses the opinion that virtual money laundering does indeed occur and therefore, having presented both academic viewpoints, it will further continue to discuss virtual money laundering within this chapter. In doing so the statistics and case studies of virtual money laundering instances will be explored, along with presenting...

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