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Australian super funds target for criminal groups – AUSTRAC

Mike Taylor10 July 2024
Bank notes on clothes line

Criminal groups are responsible for between 10% and 50% of criminal proceeds generated from superannuation fraud, according to AUSTRAC.

However, AUSTRAC’s latest risk assessment report assesses the level of involvement of national and transnational serious and organised crime groups with respect to superannuation is in the low to medium range.

The regulator also referenced the threat posed by “the use of professional services providers, either witting or unwitting to establish, advise on or operate corporate and financial infrastructure.

Its latest Cost of Crime report said that the groups primarily use compromised personal information obtained from cybercrime to fraudulently access superannuation funds.

“The stolen funds are layered through rapid or complex transfers to superannuation staging accounts or self-managed super funds (SMSFs). The proceeds are ultimately withdrawn to bank accounts as seemingly-legitimate superannuation earnings,” the AUSTRAC report said.

It said other known laundering methodologies include the exploitation of luxury goods and digital currencies to move proceeds between jurisdictions.

The report said superannuation fraud was likely to remain a stable money laundering threat over the next three years.

“The fundamental role of superannuation for Australia’s ageing population, and the ongoing increase in superannuation balances, will ensure this sector remains highly attractive to criminal individuals,” it said.

“Given that money laundering methodologies are used to move superannuation funds that are illegally accessed, the money laundering threat from superannuation fraud will remain an ongoing issue.”

Elsewhere in its report, AUSTRAC listed lawyers and accountants as being in the medium to high range with respect to threat while superannuation fund providers, stock brokers and securities dealers along with wealth management were listed as medium threats.

Managed Invested Schemes were listed in the low to medium threat category.

Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor

Managing Editor/Publisher, Financial Newswire

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Far canal
2 days ago

They’re already imbedded in there!
We know that unions are b@lls deep in industry super funds. The royal commission into unions essentially found that they were corrupt and a version of organised crime. Ironic that other criminals are now trying to steal from other criminals.

To quote the wonderful Vizzini, “You are trying to kidnap what I have rightfully stolen, and I think it quite ungentlemanly.”