NotesVolume 41, No. 4 (2018)

Shooting Fish in A Bliss Bucket: Targeting Money Launderers in the Art Market

Allyson Shea

J.D. 2018, Columbia Law School

Abstract

This Note argues that the art industry cannot sufficiently deter money laundering through self-regulatory measures and that an effective approach to combatting these crimes must begin with government oversight.  Part I provides an overview of the qualities that make art an attractive market for money launderers and examines several common money laundering practices within the industry.  Part II considers self-regulatory and governmental strategies that have recently been proposed as potential solutions to these problems.  Part III argues that ultimately, focusing on targeted enforcement and deterrence through existing anti-money laundering laws offers the best approach to both preventing wrongdoing in the industry and ensuring the future stability of the market.  Using the recent success of the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative as a model, I propose that the United States could make a focused effort to root out bad actors within this market and make the art industry less attractive to criminals.