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U.S. Treasury Secretary to Consider Border Security Steps Pioneered in Arizona

(Phoenix, Ariz. — May 13, 2009) Attorney General Terry Goddard announced that Assistant Attorney General Cameron Holmes, one of Goddard’s top prosecutors and a national antimoney laundering expert, is in Washington today to advise U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and other members of a Treasury Department committee about successful border security tactics pioneered in Arizona.   

At a meeting later today, Holmes will address Secretary Geithner and other members of the Treasury Department’s Banking Secrecy Advisory Group. He will provide a briefing on the success of wire transfer seizures – an anti-money laundering technique developed by Goddard’s office that has reduced smuggling proceeds flowing into Arizona by $600 million each year.  

Holmes will also convey Goddard’s recommendation that the IRS use analytical techniques developed by the Attorney General’s Office to identify and eliminate corrupt money transmitters throughout the border region.  

Currently, the IRS examines money transmitters randomly without regard for key indicators of criminal activity such as the pattern of wire transfers sent to or from the stores. According to Goddard, moving to a “risk-based examination” of money transmitters would make the agency much more effective at finding the corrupt locations and disrupting hundreds of millions of dollars in smuggling proceeds that flow through these transmitters annually.  

“Our years of experience have shown that a risk-based approach will be much more effective than random examinations,” Goddard said. “I hope Secretary Geithner and his staff will realize the greater benefit and adjust their policy accordingly.”  

For more information, contact Steve Wilson at (602) 542-8351 or steve.wilson@azag.gov.