The Presence of Money Laundering in Mattress Stores
The term money laundering is often unheard of and for most, hard to understand. Money laundering, in short terms is when someone takes large amounts of money and little by little puts the money through legitimate businesses to make the money “clean.” The reason why these people cannot just put through banks right away is because large amounts of money deposited in the bank can be deemed as suspicious. Therefore, putting the money through businesses makes the money seem legit. The reason money can be looked at as “dirty” is when it is accumulated through illegal activity. However, when put in small amounts, the person who is in charge of this money will be able to make different transactions without question. In past times, people did not have banks to hold their money like we do today. When people wanted to hide mass amounts of money, the place to really do that would be under a mattress. Therefore, it would be smart for someone who wants to hide mass amounts of money to hide it in their mattress. What better way to do this than to spread it out over different areas? The best way to do this, one must be wondering, is opening a mattress store. There are so many mattresses for one to spread their mass amounts of money over. It would be almost impossible for someone to pick out that there is money being laundered through a mattress store. It would also make the money that is illegally accumulated seem legit because it is going through a literal business, a mattress store. In other words, it is not proven, but easily convincing that mattress stores have a huge part in money laundering activities.
About once every decade, a person usually decides that it is about time for a new mattress. It is not a daily, weekly, or monthly occurrence that someone needs to buy a mattress. However, there are so many stores wherever a customer goes, but for what reason? It is not a purchase in which it is made weekly or daily, like said before. Whenever someone looks inside of a mattress store, it is noticeable that there is never anyone inside. What is also noticeable is the signs on the front windows showing there’s a percentage off or deals to help the customer pay it off. It is almost impossible for there to be this much demand on mattresses. It is not like a chain restaurant, or clothing store. People are left to ask the question, why? What is the reason for all of these stores? There is no real solution to why there are a number of mattress stores within hundreds of feet of each other. However, mattress stores could fall into this category of money laundering for various reasons. Whoever opened a mattress store is smart however, because the following information is in fact information that will change the way people look at mattress stores, and will increase the chances in which they will turn to department stores rather than general mattress stores when they are looking to make a purchase.
A study done in Houston, Texas showed that there were 133 Starbucks stores. This does not include the number of Starbucks’ in the suburbs. Yet, the number of mattress stores seems to outnumber the amount of Starbucks’ in Houston. Starbucks, which has over hundreds of customers every day, has less stores than, say, a Mattress Firm, which maybe one hundred people go in within a month. No one can say that it is money laundering causing the number of mattress stores to increase. It is an arguable fact that the owners of most mattress stores are guilty of money laundering. The only reason no one would first guess this is because people are getting something out of it, a mattress. Owners, and this is going out on a limb, have to make themselves look innocent and actually give you what you’re there to get. They won’t see you in the next 10 years so they’re going to make sure the customer gets what they want so, so they will get a mattress.
The CEO of Mattress Firm, when he was asked the question of, “why are there so many stores?” was stuck on trying to find an answer too. He explained that for every 50,000 people, there is one store. In the Chicago area alone, there are about 235 mattress stores. In other areas, like Houston, there are more than 235 mattress stores alone. It leaves people stumped as they think about the possible reasons as to why on earth there would be this many mattress stores. However, when the idea of money laundering is brought up, people are left to question any other thought they had before. All of the pieces seem to fit right in when thinking about the relationship between mattress stores and money laundering. To reiterate, it is eye opening when people think about the number one hiding spot for money that is not in a bank. Someone who is very familiar with this idea thought they should and did take it to the next level. This means country- wide money hiding in mattress stores here, and maybe there. It will never be traced because it is, well, not easily traced. There are hundreds of thousands of mattress stores and not that many people who believe the number one reason for all of them has to do with money laundering.
To make a long, complicated argument short, mattress stores are an example of a pretty well thought out idea to hide the fact that the owners are money launderers. It may sound steep, and it might be a stretch, but it is convincing. There are tons of loose ends that tie together and it only seems logical when all of the loose ends are tied. The fact that there are over 235 mattress stores in the Chicago area alone, makes us wonder how many other stores there could be in bigger cities, or more populated areas. It only makes sense for one who is afraid to get caught for money laundering to try and spread out as much of the money they are trying to hide as wide as possible. Like said before, there is no way there is this high of a demand on mattresses, for they are a once in a decade type of purchase. Studies show that there are in fact too many mattress stores, and the CEO of mattress firm cannot express or explain himself why there are so many mattress stores. The question caused him to become baffled as well. The fact that there are so many mattress stores being built, yet no one inside of them makes people feel skeptical about what really goes on inside. It helps the case that money laundering and mattress stores go nearly hand in hand.
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