WMBF News wins Emmy for investigation exposing billion-dollar mo - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

WMBF News wins Emmy for investigation exposing billion-dollar money laundering industry

Image of David Klugh taken from the WMBF News Investigative report (Source: WMBF News) Image of David Klugh taken from the WMBF News Investigative report (Source: WMBF News)
Chief Photographer Michael Walter. (Source: Instagram. Used with permission) Chief Photographer Michael Walter. (Source: Instagram. Used with permission)

ATLANTA, GA (WMBF) – WMBF News received an Emmy Award on Saturday, June 11, for the in-depth investigative piece “Dirty Money” produced by Chief Photographer Michael Walter and former WMBF News anchor David Klugh in October 2015.

WMBF News was honored at the 2016 Southeast Emmy Awards in Atlanta. Walter and Klugh’s investigate report won the Emmy for General Assignment Report – No Time Limit.

 “Dirty Money” exposed a billon-dollar industry operating under the radar in Horry County and South Carolina, showing how a lack of regulations allowed criminals to legally funnel hundreds of millions of dollars a year out of the state and country to drug cartels and terrorist groups around the world.

A report obtained by WMBF News showed there are more than 3,000 money transfer service businesses operating in Horry and Georgetown Counties alone. Fewer than 10 percent are registered with the state. Those businesses wired nearly $700 million dollars a year just out of Horry County to a handful of known cartel addresses in Mexico and Columbia, and to locations operated by Hezbollah and other known terrorist groups in the Middle East.

Two months after the investigative story aired on WMBF News, the South Carolina Anti-Money Laundering Act was filed by Horry County Representative Alan Clemmons in the South Carolina State House. The bill amends the South Carolina Code of laws to “provide regulation and overnight of the money transmission services business most commonly used by organized criminal enterprise to launder the monetary proceeds of illegal activities.” That bill eventually passed the State House and Senate, and was signed into law by Governor Nikki Haley on June 9.

“Winning a prestigious Emmy award is a great honor, of course,” Klugh said. “However for me personally, it’s the impact this report will have on the people of South Carolina.  A law has been changed that will instantly result in fewer, drugs, guns and people being trafficked across our great state.  That’s why we do this kind of work!” 

“Winning this Emmy is really a testament to the commitment to strong, issue-based journalism WMBF News strives for,” Walter said. “While winning the award is a real honor, seeing a new law come out of this report means much more.”

WMBF News would like to congratulate David Klugh and Michael Walter for receiving this prestigious award, and for producing an investigative report that has truly had a positive impact on the state of South Carolina.

View the complete report here: 

Dirty Money - Legal money laundering in South Carolina?

Read and watch Klugh and Walters' first investigative report into the money laundering industry here:

 South Carolina businesses used to launder billions to drug cartels, terrorists

Read a report on the South Carolina legislature passing the Anti-Money Laundering Act here:

SC Senate passes 'Anti-Money Laundering Act'

Copyright 2016 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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