Dr. Stefan Nicovich
Dr. Ed DeClair
It is no secret that money laundering has seeped into the art market for years, but veils of anonymity and lack of regulation have kept many of those who foster the illegal operations immune from justice. As criminal operations permeate the art market on a regular basis, what can be done? This thesis will approach this question through an examination of qualitative data and studies, including investigating applicable recent cases, to understand four unique vulnerabilities of the art market and how these weaknesses are exploited. Additionally, the major groups who use the art market as a means of money laundering will be identified. I will be analyzing how each of these factors perpetuates the problem of money laundering in the art market, and I will propose solutions on two fronts: government regulation and internal self-regulation. These proposed actions, both external and internal, directly correspond to the vulnerabilities identified. These actions are intended to build upon current regulation imposed by the European Union and United States, as this governmental group comprises much of the art market’s total value. Recommendations to bolster the art market’s self-regulatory culture, however, are not restrained to national borders, but reflect national policies. Despite being frequently portrayed as a “victimless crime,” money laundering on this scale is fraught with danger to not only national and global economies through the effects of tax evasion, but also the safety of people around the world through the finance of terror organizations.
Walton, Arran, "Money Laundering in the Global Art Market" (2023). Undergraduate Theses and Capstone Projects. 260.