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What Does Morgan Stanley's Money Laundering Investigation Mean To You?

morgan stanley AML investigation

In the shadowy corners of finance, money laundering is a term that often whispers of crime and deception. But what happens when a towering institution like Morgan Stanley finds itself under the harsh spotlight of federal scrutiny? This is the crux of our latest podcast episode, where we unravel the complexities of anti-money laundering investigations and their implications for Christian investors.

Morgan Stanley's wealth management unit is currently being probed by the SEC and other federal regulators over its client vetting practices. As a Christian financial advisor, our host Ab Ridgway guides us through the labyrinth of financial regulations, the ominous presence of illegal activities in banking, and the ethical dilemmas faced by investors who wish to keep their hands clean in a world muddied by suspect transactions.

Money laundering isn't just a catchphrase from a Hollywood crime thriller; it's a real-world issue that impacts the integrity of financial institutions and the trust we place in them. The episode takes a closer look at the Bank Secrecy Act, the frontline defense against money laundering, and how it shapes the way banks handle large transactions.

But it's not just about the banks.

As Christian investors, we are called to a higher standard. The episode challenges us to consider our role in the financial ecosystem and how our choices, whether in person or online, align with our values. Are we inadvertently supporting illicit activities through our investments? How can we ensure that our financial dealings do not stray from the path of righteousness?

With a blend of historical context, current events, and spiritual guidance, this episode is not just a financial briefing. It's a moral compass for navigating the complex world of investments. Ab Ridgway doesn't just report on the news; he questions it, probes it, and relates it back to the core principles of Christian faith.

As we venture into the digital age, where brick-and-mortar reassurances are replaced by online transactions, the episode also touches on the importance of cyber security and the need to be vigilant against the digital manifestations of money laundering.

Join us as we dissect the Morgan Stanley controversy and explore the ethical landscape of modern investing. It's a conversation that promises to enlighten, educate, and empower you as an investor and a believer. Listen now, and let's journey together towards financial integrity and divine protection in our financial endeavors.

Remember, "For the love of money is the root of all evil," but knowledge and vigilance can be the guardians of your financial faith. Tune in to this compelling episode and arm yourself with the wisdom to invest wisely and ethically.

Episode Summary: In this episode of "Financial Advisors Say the Darndest Things," host A.B. Ridgeway delves into the recent scrutiny faced by Morgan Stanley's wealth unit over anti-money laundering practices. He explores the concept of money laundering, the investigation's implications, and how it pertains to Christian investors.

Time Stamps:

(00:00) Morgan Stanleys wealth unit reportedly being probed over anti money laundering practices

(00:36) Multiple federal agencies are scrutinizing Morgan Stanley's procedures for combating money laundering

(05:52) SEC probing into some transactions of former and current Morgan Stanley clients

(08:07) The first thing is we shouldn't be participating in money laundering

(10:18) AB Ridgeway discussed money laundering and anti money laundering rule

Key Takeaways:

  1. Understanding Money Laundering: Money laundering involves concealing the origins of illegally obtained money through a series of transactions to make it appear legitimate.

  2. Regulatory Scrutiny: Federal agencies are investigating Morgan Stanley's procedures for assessing the risk of money laundering among clients, highlighting the importance of due diligence.

  3. Ethical Considerations: Christian investors are reminded to uphold integrity and diligence in financial dealings, avoiding involvement in illicit activities like money laundering.

  4. Online Transactions: As more financial activities move online, individuals must exercise caution and discernment, ensuring they engage in legitimate business practices.

  5. Guarding Against Greed: Referencing biblical principles, A.B. emphasizes the dangers of succumbing to the love of money and encourages listeners to prioritize faith and honesty in their financial decisions.


  1. "For the love of money is the root of all evil... Don't let the love of money turn you away from the faith, which is about truth, justice, and honesty." - A.B. Ridgeway

  2. "As we step back, we realize that Morgan Stanley... doesn't care where the money's coming from because they benefit from it being there." - A.B. Ridgeway

  3. "We must change our mindset away from the fear of the internet... but also protect ourselves and embrace discernment." - A.B. Ridgeway


1.What is AML in Morgan Stanley? - It stands for Anti-Money Laundering (AML). AML regulations in the U.S. expanded after the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) was passed in 1970 and constitutionally upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1974. Financial institutions were required to report cash deposits of more than $10,000, collect identifiable information of financial account owners, and maintain records of transactions. (Reference: Investopedia)

2. What is the Morgan Stanley controversy? - It is being reported by Investment News to have Morgan Stanley wealth unit has been caught in an anti money laundering crossfire as soon as that the SEC and other federal regulators are reportedly probing the banking giant over his anti money laundering and client vetting practices.

3. What are red flags in AML? - Different company may have different policies when it comes to identifying red flags. Red flags could be nervousness, a high cash balance that's unaccounted for, large deposits or withdrawals, or possessing fraudulent identification.

4. What is the best example of money laundering? - Money launderers will gain the money from illegal activities such as gambling or drug trafficking. They'll take that money, put into a legitimate financial institution usually by layering. Layering is when you move money from one account to another. John gives it to Jane, Jane gives it to Justin, Justin gives it to Katrina, Katrina gives it to someone else, and now when add all these different layers, it's very hard to track where this money is coming from. Now that this money is in these financial institutions, then those financial institutions loans out that money to regular consumer for things like investments, commercial property, and real estate.

Morgan Stanley

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Bank Secrecy Act


AB Ridgeway Wealth Management

1 Timothy 6:10 (Bible Reference)

retired couple reviewing their investments


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About Financial Advisors Say The Darndest Things Podcast:

As Christians, we were taught to be good stewards over our tithing and giving to the less fortunate. But when it came to our personal finances and investing we were left clueless on what the Bible says. What does the Bible say about managing debt, leaving a legacy, investing, and planning for your retirement? Mr. Christian Finance answers these and many other questions because we want to teach you how to become rich and righteous!

Meet A.B. Ridgeway:

A.B. Ridgeway with his hands up

A.B. Ridgeway, MBA ( is the owner and Christian Financial Advisor with A.B. Ridgeway Wealth Management. With a decade in the finance industry, his goal is to give believers clarity around the most confusing topic in the Bible, money, and tithing. A.B. Ridgeway helps tithing Christians become cheerful givers but unlocking their money-making potential, so they can prosper and be the great stewards of the wealth God has entrusted them with.

*Disclaimer: This communication is not intended as an offer or solicitation to buy, hold or sell any financial instrument or investment advisory services. Any information provided has been obtained from sources considered reliable, but we do not guarantee the accuracy or the completeness of any description of securities, markets or developments mentioned. This is strictly for information purposes. We recommend you speak with a professional financial advisor.

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