Black Market Billions How Organized Retail Crime Funds Global Terrorists

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2011-11-11
  • Publisher: FT Press
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Black Market Billionsblows the lid off the world's fastest-growing illicit industry: organized retail crime. Hitha Prabhakar reveals how criminals with ties to terrorist groups around the world are committing huge product thefts, and using the profits to fund terrorist acts.  Prabhakar connects the dots and follows the money& from consumers ;dying for a deal ; to terrorist cells eager to do the killing.

Author Biography

Hitha Prabhakar is a New York-based reporter for Bloomberg Television, covering business news and financial markets with a particular focus on retail. Before joining Bloomberg Television in 2011, Prabhakar was founder and principal of The Stylefile Group, a retail consulting firm based in New York City, where she served as an advisor to hedge funds and other clients with long-term holdings in retail companies. Prior to that, Prabhakar served as a retail reporter for Forbes Media, covering the luxury industry as well as men’s fashion. She has written for Time, People, MSNBC.com, ELLE India, and Metro newspapers, among other publications. Prabhakar was formerly a contributor on CNBC and has had numerous television appearances as a retail analyst on networks including CBS, CNN, Fox News, Sky News, and Bravo. She holds degrees in philosophy and economics from Smith College and a master’s degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She also studied at the London School of Economics.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
The Piracy Economy
Organized Retail Crime Goes Globalp. 9
Why Is ORC SuchaThreat?p. 11
The Promised Land: Money Talksp. 13
Made in America: Homegrown Terrorismp. 17
Recruiting from die Insidep. 19
From Prison to Gangs to die World's Most Notorious
Terrorist Groupp. 21
Access to Funding Gets Creativep. 25
Burrowing In: The Hezbollah Finds a Home in die
U.S. and South Americap. 27
From America to South America: Ties Get Stronger in the Tri-Border Regionp. 28
When a Deal Isn't a Dealp. 31
Getting a Shoe of Luxury die Cheapest Way Possiblep. 34
The "Real Deal"p. 36
Dying for a Deal: The Recession Doesn't Make
Aspirations Go Awayp. 38
Big Takedowns Take Precedence Over
Smaller Offendersp. 39
Counterfeiters and ORC Move Their Operations Onlinep. 40
eBay's Swift Responsevp. 42
Too Little, Too Latep. 44
Lurking in the Shadows: Stolen Gift Cards
Bought Onlinep. 45
Easy to Obtain, Easy to Sellp. 46
Fake-out: Retailers Fronting as Legitimate Storesp. 48
Protecting Yourself: Know the Signs of E-fencing/ORCp. 51
The Cost to the Storesp. 53
The Blame Gamep. 54
Insider Information: Employee Theft and ORCp. 54
Human Resources Fail: Hiring the Wrong Peoplep. 56
Wholesale Scam: Terrorist-Affiliated Warehouses Sell to the Little Guyp. 61
Taking a Bite Out of the Balance Sheet: Economic Downturn Fosters Cargo Theftp. 64
Coordinating Information in Real Time: LAPD and APD Case Studiesp. 67
Follow the Money
The Money Trail and the Business of
Cross-Border Tradep. 77
The Warehouse: Ground Zero for Cross-Border Tradep. 80
Profile of a Purchaserp. 81
Keeping Shelves Stocked Through Cargo Theftp. 83
Coveted Items: Over-the-Counter Drugsp. 84
Profde of a Cargo Thiefp. 86
"Shell Stores": A Conduit for Organized Retail Crimep. 87
Shell Stores Move Onlinep. 89
A Hotbed of Stolen Merchandise: Flea Marketsp. 91
Nabbing the Bad Guys: Classifying Organized Retail Crime as a Felonyp. 91
Insurance Companies: The Missing Linkp. 93
The Gray Market: Another Retail Facilitator of ORCp. 94
Laws Have Been Passed, But Are They Helping?p. 95
Profile of a Booster and a Fencep. 97
Moving the Merchandise: The Role of a Fencep. 100
Being Convicted as a Level 1 Fence: More Like a Slap on the Wrist Than a Slap in die Facep. 101
The Level 2 Booster: Inside the Mind of a Potentially Dangerous Criminalp. 104
Other Forms of Theft from a Level 2 Boosterp. 106
Level 3 Boosters and Fences: A High-Level Organization Equals High Profitsp. 108
Level 3 Boosters: Frequently Lifted Merchandisep. 112
Curbing Boosters and Fences: What Does and Doesn't Workp. 115
Family Tiesp. 119
When Family Funds Support Terrorismp. 121
Assad Muhammad Barakat and His "Family"p. 123
Illegal Entry into the U.S. Is Not Difficult if You Have Moneyp. 127
The Great Entrepreneurs: Terroristsp. 132
The Trust Factor: The Basis of Any Organized Retail Crime Ringp. 136
Money Laundering 2.0p. 139
The Three Stages of Money Launderingp. 141
Organized Retail Crime and Latin Americap. 151
Funneling Money Through the Black Market
Peso Exchangep. 152
The South American, Mexican, and African Connectionp. 155
The Political Agendap. 159
Homegrown Terrorism: How Retail Theft and Piracy Has Funded Terrorist Operationsp. 160
Rebel Kids: Extremist Ideas Financed Through International ORCp. 163
When Things Went Awryp. 164
ORC Funding by Way of Somalia: A Tale of Two Misguided Kidsp. 165
As Local as Down the Streetp. 168
Funding Evil Under the Guise of Charitable Contributions: The Mosquesp. 168
Muslim Charities: Capitalizing on Natural Disaster and Religious Empathyp. 169
Terrorist Fund-Raising Via Charities Finds Roots in the U.Sp. 172
Charitable Donation Loopholes: How the IRS and Banking Systems Failed to Prevent Fraudulent ORC Funds from Financing Terrorist Groupsp. 173
Charities Turn to a Cyber Audiencep. 175
Why the Government Can't Regulate Charitiesp. 175
Strange Bedfellowsp. 179
How Banned TVs Funded Bombingsp. 180
The Business of Cigarette Smugglingp. 183
The EC Versus R.J. Reynolds Tobaccop. 185
The Role of Money Brokers and Money Launderersp. 186
The History of Cigarette Smugglingp. 188
Cigarette Smuggling Funds Local Terrorism Around the Worldp. 189
Chiquita International Brands: "Either You Pay Me, or I Am Going to Kill You."p. 192
Dole Foods' Involvement with the Colombian Paramilitaryp. 195
Putting a Band-Aid on a Broken Leg
The Failure of Preventative Measuresp. 201
Acting Locally, Thinking Globallyp. 202
Types of ORC Theft Prevention That Are Supposed to Work But Don'tp. 204
A Bottom-Line Breakdown of Costsp. 207
Legal Issues: Defining ORC Versus Shoplifting and Shrinkagep. 215
Regulating the Resale Marketp. 216
Letting the Bad Guy Get Awayp. 219
Regulation Epic Fail: How Banking BSAs and AML Programs Let Terrorist Funding Slip Through the Cracksp. 222
Continued Failure to Regulate IFTs: The Costs to Local and Federal Governments as Well as Retailersp. 223
Failure to Regulate Hawalasp. 224
IFTs Get Sophisticated: Stored Value Cardsp. 227
Bulk Cash Smuggling Comes in a Smaller Packagep. 228
Retailers Feel the Pain of SVC Fraudp. 230
Credit Card Fraud Is Even Worsep. 231
RICO Definedp. 234
Why ORC Rings Still Exist: Money Laundering and the RICO Statutep. 235
More Problems with RICO: It's in the Definitionp. 236
Laws That Once Protected Potential Terrorists Have Changedp. 239
Defining "Material Support" and "Coordination"p. 239
Epiloguep. 243
Glossaryp. 247
Endnotesp. 271
Indexp. 299
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