Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Criminal Justice


F. Warren Benton

Committee Members

Henry N. Pontell

Joshua D. Freilich

Peter Mameli

Ronald V. G. Clarke

Subject Categories

Accounting | Accounting Law | Banking and Finance Law | Business | Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Business Intelligence | Business Law, Public Responsibility, and Ethics | Corporate Finance | Criminal Law | Criminology | Economic History | Economics | European Law | Finance and Financial Management | International Law | Law | Law and Economics | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Securities Law | Social and Behavioral Sciences | State and Local Government Law | Taxation | Taxation-Federal | Taxation-State and Local | Tax Law | Terrorism Studies | Transnational Law


bearer negotiable instruments, bearer financial instruments, bearer monetary instruments, bearer payment instruments, bearer instruments, money laundering, terrorist financing, tax evasion


Bearer Negotiable Instruments (BNI) are a long-standing category of financial instruments used to transfer large amounts of money in ways that may not be subject to regulation, reporting, tracking, review, or oversight. There is limited information available on BNIs, and no evidence that any studies have been undertaken on BNIs alone, much less reported. Increasingly, BNIs are being used for illegal purposes including money laundering. This study gathers information about their characteristics, nature, purpose, legal status, and numbers. It also focuses on the crime risks associated with BNIs, the crime opportunities they facilitate, and the criminal weaknesses in the financial instruments themselves. Data and knowledge are obtained to provide a sound basis for further study and analysis, and to make policy recommendations that reflect practical, corrective, and preventative measures to reduce future crime using BNIs.