Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Michael J. Lynch, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Cecil Greek, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Shayne Jones, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Wilson Palacios, Ph.D.


AML, anti-money laundering, industry success, money laundering


Money laundering is a serious crime with potentially wide ranging consequences that have numerous implications for criminological research. However, criminology rarely explores this crime, nor its potential impact on other more central crimes of interest (e.g. drug trafficking or organized crime). The present study adds to a limited body of literature examining money laundering from a criminological perspective, evaluating aspects of its regulation and social control within the banking industry. Several aspects of regulatory oversight and company dynamics such as fine/settlement size, company size, and the likelihood of non-AML/OFAC violations to predict future AML/OFAC violations were evaluated. These analyses largely supported that banking crimes, and more specifically AML violations, follow the same patterns observed within previous corporate crime research. However, the primary focus of this research was to evaluate the effectiveness of industry success rankings as a form of social control as it pertains to AML violations and to determine whether or not banks that ranked well on industry rankings were also less likely to have banking violations. A variety of rankings including safety, asset-based, and overall performance measures were used to assess their relationship to bank violations, with analyses supporting that these banking industry success markers held little relationship to or acknowledgment of a firm’s previous AML/OFAC violations. Implications are discussed at length including the importance of and numerous directions for future criminological research on money laundering violation within the banking industry, suggested regulatory reforms, and the need for a wider variety and more tailored industry success measures to affect some level of social control.