:: The top-rated definition ::
Money laundering is the act or practice of concealing the origins of illegally obtained money.

Money earned from criminal activities is "dirty" and needs to be "cleaned" to appear to have been derived from legal activities.

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Methods of money laundering - Wikipedia
In a simple way, they have to find a way to pay taxes to the government for the dirty money, so it can be appear that legally obtained. And this process is called "money laundering".
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Mock trial Modus operandi Money laundering Moratorium Mortgage