The US Justice Department definition is, “The process by which one conceals the existence, illegal source or illegal application of income, and then disguises the source of that income to make it appear legitimate.” Traditionally, when one hears about money laundering, it is in the context of a narcotics operation. Probably the largest money launderers are involved in the narcotics trade, but anyone who makes money illegally must have a way to make it appear legitimate. The laundering of money through legitimate businesses is the oldest method used. Businesses provide legitimate sources of income, sources of reported income for taxes, and locations to disguise the illegal operation. Investment in real estate facilitates money laundering. Real estate provides tax avoidance benefits, and down payments provide direct money-laundering vehicles. Smurfs are people who are hired to launder money through banks.