The Grand Strand: Money Laundering Capital Of America?

MORE CRAZINESS ALONG THE SOUTH CAROLINA COAST … || By FITSNEWS || As Myrtle Beach, S.C. braces for “black bike week” – a.k.a. the annual Memorial Day “Atlantic Beach Bikefest” – a local television station has alerted viewers to what it says is a year round threat. And not just to…


|| By FITSNEWS || As Myrtle Beach, S.C. braces for “black bike week” – a.k.a. the annual Memorial Day “Atlantic Beach Bikefest” – a local television station has alerted viewers to what it says is a year round threat.

And not just to the safety of those living on the Grand Strand …

“Right now in Horry County, there is a billion-dollar industry operating completely under the radar,” David Klugh of WMBF TV (NBC – Myrtle Beach, S.C.) reported last week.  “It pays no taxes, needs no license.  In fact, the goal of this industry is to get money out of the state, to drug cartels and terrorist groups around the world.  It’s the same industry that makes sure there is plenty of marijuana, cocaine and heroin available to your kids at the most affordable prices.”

Whoa …

According to Klugh, South Carolina’s failure to regulate money services businesses (or MSB’s) “has made South Carolina perhaps the most criminal-friendly state in the country.”

You know, in addition to all the home grown violent crime.

In fact a report prepared by a former U.S. Army investigator (and provided to state lawmakers) reportedly found more than 3,000 such businesses operating in Horry and Georgetown counties – wiring $700 million to a host of unsavory organizations including Mexican and Colombian drug cartels and Middle Eastern terrorist organizations.

Many of the businesses pose as legitimate retail outlets – i.e. selling beachwear or cell phones from gaudy storefronts.  In fact the report alleges the preponderance of beachwear outlets along the Grand Strand is a testament to the ubiquity of the money laundering business on the South Carolina coast.

Jeez …. is anything in Horry County legitimate?

Needless to say, Klugh’s report raised plenty of red flags – and prompted several of our readers along the coast to forward us his report.

“Myrtle Beach is their center of operations, with all their tourist shops which are money laundering fronts,” one of our readers warned. “The (S.C.) legislature won’t do anything to stop it.  And neither will the federal government with a Muslim sympathizer in the White House.  Why would he want to shut down the Muslims’ primary funding source in America?”

Hmmmm …

Obviously this website’s view of the “War on Drugs” differs dramatically from that of most governments … or most legacy media outlets.  Bottom line: We don’t have a problem with people manufacturing, distributing, selling or consuming drugs – for medical or recreational purposes.  In fact we believe eliminating these ridiculous prohibitions would enhance liberty, expand the economy and reduce taxpayer expenditures.

We also abhor American interventionism abroad in the name of “fighting terror.”

Having said all that, businesses which subsidize terrorist organizations – and which do so via fiscally evasive, commercially deceptive means – should be shut down.

And perhaps the Chinese will do that when they finish buying up the coast …


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Bullshit May 18, 2015 at 9:58 am

Yeah….so let me be the sole voice of dissent(I’m pretty sure that will bet the case) and say I call “bullshit” on all of this.

#1 If Captain Andy is so sure this money being wired to Mexico, Columbia, & Hezbollah and other “terrorist” groups, why the hell isn’t the “Patriot Act” or RICO laws being used to prosecute?!?!?!?!

I’ll bet I know why…because he’s got no proof.

The reason Captain Andy wants SC to regulate “money services” is probably because not only do these transfer of funds not meet any burden of proof to take these businesses down, but Uncle Sam is interested in how much money we all have and what we do with it.


More scare tactics from Uncle and shrill screams for more government control in the name of “safety”. It’ll work too, because our country is filled with scaredy cat bootlickers now.

FastEddy23 May 18, 2015 at 10:11 am

Mmmmm … Reality sets in.

All of these “safety” issues, money laundering, drug running, “blue nose” fear mongering, etc., can ultimately be resolved for the benefit of all …

{the usual rant} a flat income tax. {end of rant}

sparklecity May 18, 2015 at 10:35 am

Been advocating a flat tax since I debated on the merits of one in my civics class (circa 1970-1971)——-in a state funded PUBLIC high school no less!!!!!
Did my own taxes back then as a “professional” bagger at “Bi-Lo” and later on making a little side money doing taxes for the guys in my barracks back in 1974.
Seems like the going rate for filing the 1040EZ is 50 bucks.
Back during “Tax season” I drove daily by a “mom & pop” tax service
and the sign said “1040A – $75
I could do a 1040EZ 15 minutes (tops) without any fucking software!!!!!!!
Fucking obscene is what it is but even more pittiful is the ignorance of the taxpayers of South Carolina….The SC1040 instruction “booklet” used to proudly post (maybe it still does) that The Great State of South Carolina leads the nation in electronic filing.
*******Wanna talk about money laundering – those tax loan/refund “businesses” are probably rife with money laundering and the Great State of South Carolina is its biggest conduit!!!

TroubleBaby May 18, 2015 at 10:42 am

“those tax loan/refund “businesses” are probably rife with money laundering and the Great State of South Carolina is its biggest conduit!!!”

That’s some TRUTH right there!

pogo2 (original) May 18, 2015 at 10:45 am

Smear a legitimate business much?

pogo2 (the real one) May 18, 2015 at 10:56 am


Please raise our taxes Haley, take more money from us all! Government knows best! LMAO!!! LMAO!!!

lawyered-up pogo May 18, 2015 at 11:11 am

You’re making fun of me but the truth is Haley can do no wrong. No matter what people say she is a good Christian girl and for your insolence she will pray you into a hell where you will wish that fire was the worst of it. This is your final warning. Repent and join our beautiful and virtuous Governor on the side of the Redeemer.

Nikki & Thad's # 1 Lapdancer May 18, 2015 at 12:39 pm

You tell ’em pogo!

double-down pogo May 18, 2015 at 12:52 pm

Yes mistress! I am not worthy! Tax us as much as you please mistress Haley! I am your slave!

Nikki & Thad's #1 Lapdancer May 18, 2015 at 3:03 pm

Nikki is a good tipper, too. Thad not so free w/ the green he’s got that one tip that makes the ride worth it anyway. OH yeah, baby!

sparklecity May 18, 2015 at 11:00 am

Making money off ignorant taxpayers from the the Great State of South Carolina make you sleep good at night much?????

pogo2 (original May 18, 2015 at 11:02 am

Whatever helps Haley gives me a chubby. I hope she triples our taxes! LMAO!!!

TroubleBaby May 18, 2015 at 11:03 am

You read too much into my statement. Focus on the words.

The smear is against the SC gov’t that aiding in the supposed crime of “money laundering”.

pogo 2 (original) May 18, 2015 at 10:48 am

How much are you getting a bagger these days?

sparklecity May 18, 2015 at 10:56 am

$7.50 plus tips and all the 50 year old pussy I can handle……………….

pogo2 (original) May 18, 2015 at 10:58 am

GrandTango is a 50 year old pussy. Oh my! LMAO!!! LMAO!!!

Everyone on FITS May 18, 2015 at 10:59 am


RESIGN MAYOR! May 18, 2015 at 11:15 am

lol BOZ….what a great care giver you and ‘Zed’ are posting on Fits 24/7…OH MY!!! LMAO!!!!

FastEddy23 May 20, 2015 at 12:22 pm

Mmmmm … that must have been way back when there were debates in high school civics classes. … Way, way back.

Ronnie's Bootlicker May 18, 2015 at 10:02 am

To quote Grand Tango’s God: ‘Government is not the answer to the problem, government is the problem’. Why, in the reddest of red states would we ever want to inhibit the free market economy? And certainly keeping it sheltered from paying taxes will make these terrorists heroes in the eyes of the Tea Party crazies.

sparklecity May 18, 2015 at 11:03 am

Can’t argue with that especially when it takes me longer to do the SC1040 then the IRS 1040A and is 3 full pages instead of two………………..

Centrist View May 18, 2015 at 10:05 am

Interesting blurb @ end of story linked above
The National Guard also recognized the danger South Carolina was facing because of its lack of regulation of the Money Services industry. It proposed a $50 million pilot program to research the impacts of money laundering, and help educate lawmakers about the best ways to stop it.

A delegation of lawmakers, local military and law enforcement went to Senator Lindsey Graham’s office in Washington back in 2012 to get his support, providing him with all of the information in this investigation. They never heard back from his office. That pilot program went to another state.

sparklecity May 18, 2015 at 10:46 am

Yep, the multi-branch weekly newspaper “The Military Times” has articles on payday loan “business” outside of military bases on a regular basis.
Efforts to put the “kabosh” on this BS goes in circles and has really gone nowhere.- these “businesses” mainly target to low to middle rank enlisted types who don’t know any better.
That being said, scaming a dumb soldier,sailor,marine or airman out of his money has been going on since Roman times

Zed May 18, 2015 at 10:59 am

Doesn’t Nikki Haley’s family have some ties to the payday loan business, and doesn’t that usurous industry contribute heavily to her campaigns?

guest May 18, 2015 at 11:26 am

Damn Boz.Just because you put a (?) mark at the end of a libelous comment it doesn’t mean it’s NOT libelous and protected free speech.

Sue his sorry ass Nikki.

Zed May 18, 2015 at 12:35 pm

Don’t you wish, pogo? Don’t you wish?

But be careful what you wish for.|? Seems that some people at the State House already have their ass in the crack about a certain complaint that was shredded and burned, and what proof may exist over that?

I’ll use question marks all I damned please, or not? She will still be a public figure, and she will still have to prove total malice on my part and prove that I knew it was not true that she has involvement in the payday loan business in some way? Otherwise there could be no appeal-proof verdict on any suit involving my statements or questions? Just as there has been none with Kelley v Wrenn and will be none with Bingham v FITS?

Did you get through your thick goat-humping hillbilly skull this time, sport.

guest May 18, 2015 at 12:54 pm

I wish I had a life. And a job.

pogo's mother May 18, 2015 at 1:03 pm

I did Zed.Now get off the computer and see if mom needs something to eat.Or drink.Or bathed.Or just some fucking company.

sparklecity May 18, 2015 at 11:40 am

I have absolutely no idea on that but I would not be surprised if it came out.
But as you are aware “Queen Namrata” is teflon coated from head to toe!!!!

TSIB May 18, 2015 at 2:40 pm

This story doesn’t seem to be about payday lending. It’s about wiring funds to (purported) terrorist orgs and drug cartels.

Huh? May 19, 2015 at 1:05 am

Growing up in Myrtle Beach, it was Israelis who ran the beachwear stores all my friends worked at. They also run most of the kiosks on the malls around the area. So what terrorists is all that money going too? I’m confused…

TheresaAZielinski May 19, 2015 at 7:08 am

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William Plaster May 19, 2015 at 10:18 am

I supose it depends upon what era you were ‘growing up in Myrtle beach’

Bob Hall May 18, 2015 at 10:10 am

There are some laws/regulations in place to track this but there is a great deal of dependency on “the honor system”. The number of companies involved in money transfers has grown over the years from the time I was involved in the business. At that time Western Union/First Data had a 90% market share. Then Orlandi Valuta enter the business followed by Vigro and a host of others. Fees were steep with a store making $10 plus a percentage of the amount transferred. Each company had it’s own Anti-Money laundering procedures with manuals/training. All of this was tracked by CenFin, a government agency that was set up to track banking activities.
An agent was suppose to “report”, transfer structuring, use of multiple transfer companies by the same individual, and multiple transfers to the same receipent or address. Apparently this administration is on the side of the “bad” guys.

shifty henry May 18, 2015 at 10:17 am


a.k.a. The Buzzman May 18, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Good comments, Bob.

sparklecity May 18, 2015 at 10:52 am

Shady shit going on at the Grand Strand??????
Say it ain’t so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Speaking of “Bike Week” (no matter what the race or creed) all hell broke loose in Waco,Texas at at “breastrauant” (Twin Peaks) over the weekend!!!!!!!———–another case of a conduit for money under the table and back-door recruiting for “tittie bars” and the oldest profession in the world!!!!!

Rocky May 18, 2015 at 10:59 am

In total context, it accounts for 0.12% of the total dollar volume of the drug trade. Not saying it’s OK, but let’s not kid ourselves that the Strand is the new home to Pablo Escobar’s family and the Mexican drug cartels. As for money to Hezbollah, it would be nice if he had mentioned the percentage. But sure, you allow them a way to wire funds and launder money – they’ll use it. Now, you want to see some real laundering – go to Panama. The cartels own that country.

Zed May 18, 2015 at 11:03 am

There is a distinct whiff of bullshit in all of this. Way too over-the-top and off the rails on the scaremongering side. Has all the right buttons in it to instill fear: addicted kids, heroin, cartels, al Qaeda. Why no pix of terrorists training on monkey bars? (OOO SCARY-SCARY!) Does someone want us to believe the use of the services, or even buying a boogie board from a “Going Out For Business” beachwear shop is somehow funding all of this in a major way? Or that the US government and SLED somehow don’t know it’s going on? Dubious, at best.

TroubleBaby May 18, 2015 at 11:05 am

“Does someone want us to believe the use of the services, or even buying a boogie board from a “Going Out For Business” beachwear shop is somehow funding all of this in a major way? Or that the US government and SLED somehow don’t know it’s going on? Dubious, at best.”

So well put. Kudos to you.

Put Zed Under Microscope May 18, 2015 at 11:25 am

Seen it plenty of times before …. small businesses used as fronts to cover for illegal drug profits. So with that said, do you yourself have ties to the Mexican drug cartel?

guest May 18, 2015 at 1:35 pm

“It looks as though the Sun News going to a pay wall is going to curtail the effectiveness of comments to stories there. And no matter what anyone believes, comments have been effective in many ways. The feds read, them, according to several people I know who have been interviewed by them – who told me that Sun News comments were a topic of discussion, with the agents asking who this commenter or that commenter is. ”

Buz Martin 2 years ago

Be careful ALL. I suggest anti-virus VIPRE.

Zed May 18, 2015 at 2:56 pm

That’s an idiotic comment, pogo. But then, what else is new? What was stated is 100% true. The comment threads on TSN were enormously effective for networking purposes. They still can be somewhat effective, but just in the realm of connecting people on Facebook. The paywall, of course, means only those who choose to subscribe, as I do, are able to read the stories and comments. That’s bound to eliminate some from networking.

TSIB May 18, 2015 at 1:54 pm

Agree completely.

Mike Hunthertz May 22, 2015 at 5:21 am

Not sure you know how money laundering works… purchasing items at these locations has NOTHING to do with what the business reports to the IRS as legitimate sales. Having lived and grown up in MB, this info has been ‘rumored’ and whispered for as long as Ive been here. Do you think this funds a couple of our politicians ‘new boats?’

tomstickler May 18, 2015 at 11:20 am

Think about how all this works for a minute. Some mule carries $2,500 in cash into one of these businesses and gives it to the man at the counter. Now what? Does he run it thru a fax machine?

That $2,500 — and all the other transfers for the day — have to be deposited in a local bank and credited to the store’s account. Maybe the store has a bent invoice clerk faking invoices and receipts for cover, maybe not. The clerk can then set up a wire transfer from the bank account to the eventual recipient.

None of this money laundering can happen without the participation of a local bank that (for a fee of their own) will execute a wire transfer — probably to the local bank account of a similar fake front business on the other end — which then passes it on in the local currency to the final recipient.

My point is that none of this is possible without the complicity of a local bank. And guess who is probably on the Board of directors.

I remember making a late-night trip to a local grocery store rumored to have mob connections. There were guys in suits racking up thousands of dollars in receipts at the cash registers. Those were the days when there were cumulative mechanical counters behind a viewport at the bottom. A couple of others had briefcases (suspected full of cash) which they gave to the manager. A fake invoice from the mob-connected distributor and the increased register counters accounts for the non-existent groceries “sold” for the dirty cash being laundered at the local bank. The store manager always drove a spiffy car.

fc May 18, 2015 at 11:22 am

So that’s how the Clinton Foundation works? Thanks tomDickler.

Rocky May 18, 2015 at 12:28 pm

Well let’s compare Clinton Foundation and say, Sean Hannity’s Freedom Concert series. For 2012 / 2013 – the Clinton Foundation raised $186 million dollars. Of that, they spent a meager 7% on salaries and benefits, and deployed over $150 million to helping people through their key initiatives. That’s a lot of money being dedicated to helping people around the world. Now let’s look at Sean O’Hannity. Last year, Sean’s charity events with American Freedom Foundation, designed to provide scholarships to the kids of fallen soldiers (there’s been over 6,000 since 2002). They collected about $1 million. They paid out in scholarships a whopping $13,000. Or about 1% of the take. But $175,000 went to professional fees, $260,000 went to pay the altruistic performers like Lynyrd Skynrd and Journey, and another $300,000 to marketing services and promotion. Scholarships – $13,000 – and oh by the way, you have to use it at Kaplan University – where a BS Degree costs $68K. So essentially, they helped one kid go one year. Nice Flip!!!! Nice!!!!

fc May 18, 2015 at 12:58 pm

Rocky the Clinton Crime family have spent over 50 MILLION $$$’s in travel the last decade including 12 MILLION $$$’s in ONE year.

In regards to Hannity and his foundation to help fallen veterans and their children-I just emailed him/staff/forwarded your POST for that information as I have contributed. I can tell you what you have posted is a LIE however will post their response.

I know as a socialist you hate American and despise our veterans like your current radical Muslim loving pResident occupying the wHite House however to attack the work of someone that doesn’t make a dime (hannity unlike the Clintons reporting 30 MILLION in income last year)in order to denigrate the children of our fallen veterans is really a new low for you.

Rocky May 18, 2015 at 1:05 pm

I took their numbers right off American Freedom’s website. So I lie not. If you need the link to their financials let me know. I don’t want you getting ripped either. Not when you could have contributed to other worthwhile charities.

fc May 18, 2015 at 1:07 pm

I will post their reply.Thanks for looking out for me Rocky.LMAO!!!

Rocky May 18, 2015 at 1:47 pm

fc – need to correct myself – people do that you know. American Freedom Foundation is NOT the Hannity one. My error. Freedom Alliance is the Hannity one. Their last financials indicate they raised $6 million, and handed out $1.3 million in scholarships, or about 22%, not as dismal as American Freedom Foundation. They also spent money on Poppy’s Wish Hero’s Vacation program that provides vacations to disabled vets to locations including Disney, Tampa, Costa Rica – all fine efforts. Still, not even close to the higher % that the Clinton Foundation spends worldwide. My apology for confusing American Freedom Foundation with Freedom Alliance. (But man – $300K a year in postage?)

Rocky May 18, 2015 at 1:10 pm

No sir, I don’t dislike our veterans. I’ve helped them in the past with donations, assisting in job fairs, etc. To be clear, the American Freedom Foundation is actually not owned by Sean Boy, but simply uses the affiliation for the publicity. But claiming to dole out millions, when your own annual financial statement says otherwise – not cool. And last time I checked, the President isn’t Muslim, but that’s your informational problem, not mine. As for travel – oh boy – it still didn’t account to 7% of the total amount of the Foundation, which as I pointed out, spends nearly 80% of it’s revenue on the causes it identifies, to actually make a difference. That’s pretty good compared to 1%. You have to admit that.

sparklecity May 18, 2015 at 11:50 am

have you seen the documentary “Cocane Cowboys? ( I saw it some time back— probably on HBO) That is “kinda-sorta” what the banks in Miami did back in the 80’s and it probably only takes a little “tweaking” to make it work 30 years later.
What’s that old saying—most if not all scams (and jokes for that matter) evolved from less than 5 -6 scams/jokes from the start.!!!!!

Critics of this story r morons May 18, 2015 at 11:29 am

Many organized crime operations have substantial legitimate businesses, such as licensed gambling houses, building construction companies, restaurants and bars, trash hauling services, or dock loading enterprises. These front companies enable these criminal organizations to launder their income from illegal activities. As well, the front companies provide plausible cover for illegal activities such as drug trafficking, smuggling, and prostitution. Tattoo parlors are often used as fronts for outlaw motorcycle clubs.

TSIB May 18, 2015 at 1:53 pm

That article seemed a tad overblown, no? I feel certain that if the government knew that any of these businesses were being used to wire funds to terrorists (or “drug cartels”) the feds have all kinds of enforcement mechanisms to stop it and prosecute the owners.

snickering May 18, 2015 at 2:43 pm

Get the FBI to Investigate. Thee is a one page form for this. Go to FBI Web site. I have mine on file. It’s a rapid response approach or call the FBI Columbia, Bill Nettles. I hope they all go to jail.

FBI (no, the other one) May 18, 2015 at 2:59 pm

As I recall one of the long standing beachwear chains is owned by some Jewish people, so I doubt they are funding terrorists (from the U.S. perspective), but don’t know about the other guys. But it sure would be something if there was a proxy religious war going on in good ole dirty Myrtle under the guise of selling Female Body Inspector gear :)

john dozier May 18, 2015 at 4:13 pm

Where is Luke? He sure went after poor Ford with great zeal.

JC May 18, 2015 at 5:10 pm

As opposed to what, worldwide crime organizations using the port in Charleston to launder drugs, chemicals and weapons? How about I-95 through the Pee Dee and Lowcountry? Hell, Gangland had an episode on the Bloods in Columbia. To single out Horry County is absurd. And anyway, most of the beachwear stores in Myrtle Beach have absolutely nothing to do with Muslims, they’re actually owned by the Israeli mob.

nitrat May 18, 2015 at 8:06 pm

The free market at work.

erneba May 18, 2015 at 8:36 pm

Myrtle Beach is the money laundering capital of the world?
I thought it was Washington, DC.


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