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At Last, I've Found an Academic Who Understands Miami
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For 13 years, I’ve been frustrated that economists have been debating a study of the effects on wages of the sudden slosh of immigrants who came ashore in Miami in the Mariel Boatlift in 1980 without remembering anything else happening in Miami simultaneously, like the biggest Cocaine Boom the world had ever seen.

But finally, I may have discovered a worldly philosopher. From Bloomberg:

Professor Who Wrote Book on Drug Crime Is Accused of Money Laundering

By Bob Van Voris
November 18, 2019, 10:20 AM PST

A Miami professor who’s an expert on drug trafficking and organized crime was charged by the U.S. with laundering corrupt cash from Venezuela, skimming more than $250,000 for himself.

Bruce Bagley, 73, a professor of international studies at the University of Miami was the co-editor of the 2015 book “Drug Trafficking, Organized Crime, and Violence in the Americas Today” as well as a contributor to various journals on the topic.

But on Monday prosecutors in Manhattan charged Bagley with laundering about $2.5 million into the U.S., money that foreign nationals embezzled and got from bribes and other corruption schemes. Bagley pocketed about 10% of the money, according to prosecutors.

 
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  1. El Dato says:

    “He knows the truth about Miami. Shut him down.”
    “Too old for a Swedish honeypot, boss.”
    “Then we will finagle some ‘money laundering’ scheme. People are suckers for that.”

  2. athEIst says:

    Bagley pocketed about 10% of the money, according to prosecutors.

    Seems fair.

  3. Can’t he just plead academic research? Unfortunately for him, the U of Miami is a private institution, unlike Miami U. The U.S. Supreme Court says he can’t be represented by a union.

    the sudden slosh of immigrants

    Not only does Steve ignore the SPLC’s hectoring about reducing migrants to aqueous terms, he introduces new ones of his own!

    However, these terms still refer to natural hydrosystems. Immigration policy is anything but natural.

    We should be looking at hydraulics for terms instead. E.g., Pumps. Hoses. Bilges. Sluices. Siphons.

    How about pound locks, and better yet, summit locks, to get (human) vessels over towering obstacles, like poverty and insufficient talent?

    • LOL: Jim Christian
    • Replies: @Kronos
  4. Dumbo says:

    One of the most popular TV series in the 80s was Miami Vice, so I doubt that people don’t know what was/is going on. It’s just the usual selective amnesia.

    Maybe this professor was just performing a practical experiment. To better understand money laundering, you need to do it.

    But what I’m amazed is to discover that Miami was 75% white in the 70s.

    Are there still white people in Miami today?

    • Replies: @Triumph104
  5. Does anyone think we aren’t going to see more and more of this?

    We have an elite that is openly contemptuous of the nation’s people. Who won’t protect the jobs and wages of working people. Heck, who won’t do the most fundamental job of protecting our borders, roads, schools and neighborhoods from invaders!

    And then is openly corrupt. And in fact thinks it’s a crime–or “impeachable offense”–for a public official to want to air out their corruption. All the while with their hands out trying to grab more and more.

    Why would anyone think people won’t answer this with “i’m gonna try and get mine”?

    • Agree: Sgt. Joe Friday
    • Replies: @Inquiring Mind
  6. In addition to his academic pursuits, Dr. Bagley has occasionally served as an expert consultant for the United Nations (United Nations Development Program – UNDP), for the U.S. Government (Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Drug Enforcement Administration), and for several governments in Latin America (Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia Panama and Mexico) on issues of drug trafficking, money laundering and public security. Dr. Bagley has testified before the U.S. Congress on matters related to Latin America on numerous occasions and has also appeared frequently in US Federal court as an expert witness on drug trafficking, organized crime and political asylum issues in Latin America.”

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  7. I have a relative who was a senior government health official who used the expertise she gained as a geriatrics expert to learn and use the most effective methods of bilking the elderly herself. Sometimes it not only takes one to know one, but knowing leads to being one. And, “Beyond Suspicion.”

  8. trelane says:
    @athEIst

    Professor Bagley is very reasonable but his work is a little shoddy.

    • Replies: @Twodees Partain
  9. Before long, all the money in Miami will be laundered. Go ask Greta.

    • Replies: @Kibernetika
  10. on its face, it doesn’t actually look like money laundering. He opened and account that received funds. He withdrew X amount. It’s a fairly straightforward transaction. It doesn’t sound complex and it doesn’t appear as though there was any attempt to hide anything.

    In fact in response to closing one account, no doubt disputed that there was anything untoward. He simply opened an other account. There are a lot of unknowns here.

    Maybe I am missing something, but nothing in the written arguments including the government complaint suggests anything deceptive. There’s nothing in the record presented that indicates that the money was illegal activity.

    If you want to launder money take it to a casino buy some chips, spend some amount and cash in what you don’t spend. It seems strange a well researched author on the Miami illegal drug trade wouldn’t have the knowledge to get around the restrictions — placed on deposits.

    no. I do not support drug trafficking.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    , @Neoconned
  11. Kronos says:

    So he’s an “applied” academic?

    • LOL: Tusk
  12. @AnotherDad

    A quarter million dollars?

    The guy is a piker. He risks taking leave from a cushy academic post to spend a stint at Club Fed, for a lousy quarter million dollars?

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
  13. Anon[286] • Disclaimer says:

    This guy does sound corrupt, but as an expat, post 9/11 it has been a huge problem to transfer money to and from the U.S., and it has gotten harder and hard to even open bank accounts or keep existing accounts from being unilaterally shut down. As a side effect of being an expat I have had to look into the subject of how to avoid money laundering. Summary: It’s almost impossible to avoid doing something that a federal prosecutor could not in some way characterize as money laundering. And if you are very careful? They have another crime called structuring that applies to anything that is not money laundering. There is seemingly no third category of “legal transaction” that money transfers can fall into. I am only slightly exaggerating. It’s prosecutorial discretion all the way.

  14. Okay, okay, Steve—here’s another clip from Miami Vice. The Blu-ray box set, that is hot stuff. You can get that at.. at a number of different places.

    • Replies: @Kibernetika
    , @scrivener3
  15. Kronos says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Some of the worst economic work was performed by Paul Samuelson. The guy embodied the worst of “physics envy.” He incorporated classic physics into economics (don’t ask me why.) That attachment very much reminds me of Samuelson incorporating good science into the nasty ole social sciences.

  16. Harvard fired its fencing coach over the summer for selling his house to the father of a recruit for 80 percent above mark market value. A random home buyer was the whistleblower.

    MIT didn’t disclose millions in donations from Jeffrey Epstein.

    MIT President L. Rafael Reif has admitted he not only knew about the donations by Jeffrey Epstein to the university’s Media Lab but also signed a thank you letter to the convicted sex offender. In a note to the MIT community Thursday, Reif said he doesn’t recall signing the letter but that it happened in August 2012, six weeks into his presidency. …

    MIT’s president even conceded the donations were discussed during at least one meeting where he was present.

    “I am aware that we could and should have asked more questions about Jeffrey Epstein and about his interactions with Joi,” Reif said, referring to former Media Lab Director Joi Ito, who resigned Saturday after The New Yorker reported that the lab had more contact with Epstein than it had revealed and that it worked to conceal those dealings. …

    MIT’s law firm, Goodwin Procter, has also found that in 2013 when the first donation was discovered by senior administration members, Ito “asked for permission to retain this initial gift,” Reif said in his letter. Reif’s senior staff allowed this, but “because the members of my team involved believed it was important that Epstein not use gifts to MIT for publicity or to enhance his own reputation,” they instructed Ito to tell Epstein his name couldn’t be publicly listed on the donations.

    “They knew in general terms about Epstein’s history — that he had been convicted and had served a sentence and that Joi believed that he had stopped his criminal behavior,” Reif said. “They did not know what we all know about Epstein now.” …

    The Media Lab said in an August statement that MIT had received around $800,000 in donations from Epstein over 20 years. Later, Ito acknowledged taking $525,000 from Epstein for the Media Lab, as well as $1.2 million for his personal investment funds, according to The New York Times.

    The New Yorker report, which cited internal MIT records and information from present and former Media Lab faculty and staff, said Epstein secured at least $7.5 million in lab donations, including $2 million from Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Gates says he had meetings with Epstein, but only because Epstein knew a lot of wealthy people who might contribute to causes like global health.

    https://www.cnet.com/news/mit-president-knew-about-those-jeffrey-epstein-donations/

  17. @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Gotta love those TV/Hollywood car demolitions. Somehow there’s no high explosive, just flashy flammable stuff like gas and common packing popcorn material. Ain’t no HE in there. Maybe the foley artists need to mix in the sound effects. The doors didn’t even blow off 🙂

  18. @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Funny thing Ferrari’s go up and down Miami beach streets a dime a dozen. Some people have ones wrapped in gold foil to try to get a little attention.

    And during Art Basel , coming up in December, they stand in line everywhere three deep waiting for the valet. I won’t be able to get in any decent restaurant.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    , @HammerJack
  19. Not Raul says:

    Trump should pardon him. He’s pardoned worse.

  20. @Anon

    Summary: It’s almost impossible to avoid doing something that a federal prosecutor could not in some way characterize as money laundering. And if you are very careful? They have another crime called structuring that applies to anything that is not money laundering. There is seemingly no third category of “legal transaction” that money transfers can fall into. I am only slightly exaggerating. It’s prosecutorial discretion all the way.

    This sounds absurd, but as a 30-year expat myself, I can verify that’s it’s absolutely true. There is almost no way to avoid suspicion when moving money in or out of the USA. I closed my US bank accounts eventually because of the potential for hassle.

  21. @Kibernetika

    May I point out the value of chemical engineering graduates? They get busted out of jail, unlike relatively low-value business and other science degree holders.

  22. @Inquiring Mind

    It’s the quarter million after that, and the half million after that, and so on until you die, that makes it worthwhile.

  23. So, nobody has posted the Miami Vice episode about money laundering? It had the show’s best quote”…Money is a commodity, like oil or water. And the good old US dollar is the best brand there is….”

    • Replies: @HammerJack
  24. LondonBob says:

    To be fair it is hard to keep up with all the sanctions the clown show in DC are doling out, could have been a perfectly legal transaction six months prior.

  25. @scrivener3

    Funny thing Ferrari’s go up and down Miami beach streets a dime a dozen. Some people have ones wrapped in gold foil to try to get a little attention.

    And during Art Basel , coming up in December, they stand in line everywhere three deep waiting for the valet. I won’t be able to get in any decent restaurant.

    “Oh look at me getting out of my Ferrari!”

    For all the effort these people put into making money and trying to be a big shot … this stuff isn’t even the good stuff in life.

    • Replies: @Pericles
  26. @Kibernetika

    Not exactly a genius.

    Everyone makes mistakes in life. But you’re supposed to be able to use your intelligence to avoid obvious screwups. This is not a matter of being socially awkward, but of turning on the lights. There’s really something wrong with the “intelligence” of smart people like this if they are unable to apply their smarts to life.

    • Replies: @Kibernetika
  27. @Dumbo

    Miami is still 75% white in 2019.

    In 1970, the Census Bureau reported Miami’s population as 45.3% Hispanic, 32.9% non-Hispanic White, and 22.7% Black.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miami

    • LOL: bomag
    • Replies: @nymom
    , @HammerJack
  28. @Change that Matters

    So he’s organized crimes go to expert on less organized crime,

  29. @EliteCommInc.

    You are required to report ownership (and I’m sure that’s been expanded to “control”) of overseas bank accounts on your tax returns.

    It was the IRS not the FBI that got Capone,

    • Replies: @Oikeamielinen
  30. bomag says:
    @athEIst

    Somebody’s got to do it.

  31. Many a time McGarrett and Danno called in an expert scientist or renowned professor to help solve a unique crime wave or blackmail threat — only to finally figure out that their expert IS the evil mastermind. These experts are usually toting around a truckload of professional resentments, not to mention gambling debts or a nagging wife.

  32. nymom says:
    @Triumph104

    I agree.

    Many in the “Hispanic” category could easily be of European descent from South American countries, thus officially “white”…

    Actually didn’t this channel recently have a post that DNA results and Census data differ the most in the Hispanic category. Meaning this is the largest group misrepresenting their race or ethnicity in the US Census…that can’t be a coincidence. Clearly its an attempt to gain themselves benefits from posing as a minority…

  33. Pericles says:
    @AnotherDad

    Paris Hilton knew how to get out of a Ferrari. Lol, that was a weird little epoch too.

  34. Muggles says:

    “Money Laundering” is a fake crime invented by the feds about 40 years ago when they couldn’t find any actual crime (or prove it) involved. Mainly in drugs but used for various Mafia related businesses like illegal gambling, loan sharking, etc. Also anyone else they want to convict but have no proof of real crime.

    Since there is no victim it is like a “status crime” where mere temporary possession of something common like money is criminalized. So it is the perfect weapon for politics. Hunter Biden was “laundering” Ukrainian pipeline business funds paid to him for his daddy. Oddly not charged with money laundering, and his daddy even bragged about quashing local questions about that.

    If you can’ prove tax evasion (for instance) you charge money laundering. Not informing the government of every financial detail of your business is the basis of this crime. Loans become crimes, etc.

    However the US government “launders” billions in actual cash or bank money every year in bribes, payoffs and “foreign aid” to whomever it wants to bribe or influence. Not a crime if Uncle Sam issues your paycheck. Just business as usual.

    • Replies: @Inquiring Mind
  35. Neoconned says:
    @EliteCommInc.

    Hes an expert witness for both the FBI and DEA…..

    Sounds to me like some alphabet spook types want him shut up.

  36. Another case of life imitating art.

  37. Yngvar says:

    I was an anti-communist activist back then when it was more relevant, and in one of the journals we activists used to read it was claimed that the Cuban Dirección de Inteligencia, aka G2, was organizing the cocaine shipments from Latin America into Florida, in conjunction with and because of the Mariel boatlift.

    All at the behest of the KGB, that was doing the same thing in Europe, using the Romanian Serviciul Român de Informații to smuggle drugs from Lebanon into Europe.

    It was all a part of Operation Active Measures, a Kremlin plot to destabilize the West.
    So now You know.

  38. anonymous[191] • Disclaimer says:

    Our good professor is being sent to the big house because he didn’t spread the wealth around or he made some enemies in the government. It’s very selfish to not share your ill-gotten gains with your “friends” in the government that have the power to do a lot of damage to your academic career.

  39. @Bill Jones

    Any “US person” (US citizen or not) must report all foreign accounts. Look into something called FATCA — Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act. It involves not only bank accounts but houses, spouses and children.
    Some discussion here: https://www.unz.com/ldinh/plastic-recycling-and-jousting-jews/#comment-3252964

  40. @athEIst

    Maybe he charged 10% because he wasn’t a top flight money launderer. Maybe the going rate is 20%.

  41. @trelane

    “Professor Bagley is very reasonable but his work is a little shoddy.”

    As in: “He ain’t cheap, but he’s reasonable”?

  42. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    Maybe he should claim that his moneylaundering was involuntary, because he has Jumping (or Leaping) Frenchman Disease, and when startled he will do anything that is barked out at him.

    I didn’t even know there was such a thing, but there is:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_Frenchmen_of_Maine

    Jumping Frenchmen of Maine
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Jumping Frenchmen of Maine were a group of 19th-century lumberjacks who exhibited a rare disorder of unknown origin.[1] The syndrome entails an exaggerated startle reflex[2] which may be described as an uncontrollable “jump”; individuals with this condition can exhibit sudden movements in all parts of the body. Jumping Frenchmen syndrome shares some symptoms with other startle disorders.

    Individuals with this condition were first found in the Moosehead Lake region of Maine,[3] and were first described by George Miller Beard in 1878.

    Signs and symptoms

    George Miller Beard recorded individuals who would obey any command given suddenly, even if it meant striking a loved one; the Jumping Frenchmen seemed to react abnormally to sudden stimuli. The more common and less intense symptoms consisted of jumping, yelling, and hitting. These individuals exhibited outrageous bursts, and many described themselves as ticklish and shy. Other cases involved echolalia (repeating vocalizations made by another person) and echopraxia (repeating movements made by another person). Beard noted that the men were “suggestible” and that they “could not help repeating the word or sounds that came from the person that ordered them any more than they could help striking, dropping, throwing, jumping, or starting”.

    His new variant, Laundering Professor Syndrome, could even be a cause celebre and a windfall for the poor bastard.

  43. @scrivener3

    Funny thing Ferrari’s go up and down Miami beach streets a dime a dozen.

    Yes, and Astons and Lamborghinis, and Bentleys etc. Ridiculous place to drive 200mph supercars, but there you are. The Alton Road is about the only place you can go over 25mph but there’s no one there to gawk at you, so what’s the point.

    • Replies: @scrivener3
  44. @Redneck farmer

    “Money is a commodity, like oil or water. And the good old US dollar is the best brand there is….”

    The notion that the U.S. Dollar is the best monetary brand there is tells you almost all you need to know about how effed up the world is today.

    Of course most of us here know two important things about that: one, it’s not really the dollar per se, it’s the willingness and ability of U.S. taxpayers to be soaked well into the future to service public debt.

    And two, it’s all going to turn around very dramatically one day. It’ll be like the earth’s magnetic poles switching ends. Which is also overdue, come to think of it.

  45. @Triumph104

    75% and 10% are really the same thing anyway. Right?

  46. @Muggles

    Yes, but it depends on context.

    Take the forfeiture laws, (please!).

    We all know that one of the remaining economic opportunities left to young persons from traditionally disadvantaged backgrounds is in drug retailing. Sure, drugs are consumed in those neighborhoods, but a lot of wealthier persons from traditionally advantaged backgrounds also consume the drugs.

    So when a person from a traditionally advantaged background drives a late-model car to where drugs are sold on the street, are they Sherman McCoy with his mistress, who got lost and made a wrong turn? Most likely not; the most likely explanation is they are there to purchase drugs. So for the police to crack down on drugs, which fuels the wars and refugee streams from south of our borders, they execute a traffic stop on Sherman, maybe with the right excuse, impound his car.

    I used to think this was a Good Thing ™, a kind of Stop and Frisk for priviledged White People, but with all things the Gum Mint gets into, it has probably gotten out of hand. Besides being marginally legal, Constitutionally speaking, it is a bad thing for the innocent.

    I guess this professor could be me, were I a professor of his reputation and prosperity and were I transfering millions of dollars from a South American country, redepositing most of it and depositing my commission into my own account. The good professor could be innocent and a victim of zealous Federal law enforcement of a non-crime.

    But then again, does anyone here believe this (not that the good professor should get his day in Federal Court and be railroaded into a guilty verdict by what passes for Due Process like everyone else caught up in the Federal Justice System)?

  47. @HammerJack

    I think of a Ferrari as a beautiful purpose built machine. It is really a collection of compromises but much less so than other street automobiles.

    You drive it on Ocean Drive, as Richard Gere said in Pretty Women, because it is the best. The people with lambos are missing the point – thinking the noise and the speed is it.

    Funny, of all the exotics I see in the Beach, they are always driven by men with no passengers or a male friend besides them. My current theory is the car is a replacement for women. Maybe you have money and no game (or success with women) so you get the dopamine rush from the sensuous curves and thrilling power of the car? Then again I saw a 458 Spyder parked on Collins and there was a line of women at the curb in high heels waiting to hand the driver their phone for him to enter his number.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  48. @AnotherDad

    Not exactly a genius.

    Everyone makes mistakes in life. But you’re supposed to be able to use your intelligence to avoid obvious screwups. This is not a matter of being socially awkward, but of turning on the lights. There’s really something wrong with the “intelligence” of smart people like this if they are unable to apply their smarts to life.

    Yes, it’s weird. I know geniuses, but they don’t know when to brush their teeth. Some smell. They don’t bathe on a regular basis. Just saw one shuffling along a sidewalk today when driving home. This dude has a mind and raw G… off the charts. He can tell you how to build some crazy, needed piece of hardware, or what the latest specs are on some tech, but he is batsh*t crazy by most social metrics. A Walter Pitts type!

  49. Anonymous[266] • Disclaimer says:
    @scrivener3

    A Toyota Camry is a better car than a Ferrari. Much less likely to break down and strand you, and attracts much less attention from cops, thieves, and vandals.

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