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In the popular television show Breaking Bad, the main character establishes a money laundering business disguised as a car wash to "earn" the money previously made from drug dealing. How realistic is this concept and have there been any reported instances of that happening before? Just wanted to know how much of a stretch the story line was or wasn't when dealing with that issue.

Income Tax
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John Dundon, II EA
The criminal activity of money laundering seems very real and reasonably prevalent based on the inquiries I get from my tax blog. I refuse to work these cases as my life is way too short for such nonsense so unfortunately these words are merely my conjectured opinions. Theoretically though most any retail oriented cash based business could be used as a vehicle to convert ill-gotten gains into what would appear on the surface to be 'legitimate' gross receipts including car washes, laundries, bars, restaurants or pretty much any smaller retail establishment with a cash register. Rest assured the federal government - particularly the IRS CI people - have established models to determine approximate gross receipts based on traffic patterns and locations. No that story line in 'Breaking Bad' does not seem to be too terribly much of a stretch at all.
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