To help curb money laundering, identity verification provider Trulioo announced on Monday (April 1) that it had opened an office in the Ozarks. The Vancouver-based company, which recently established a physical presence in Dublin, will seek to fill 40 positions in the region, the firm said in an announcement.
Trulioo CEO Stephen Ufford said, “In the last few months, we have seen a lot of demand for our services in Missouri — particularly from initial coin offerings (ICOs). Opening an office in the Ozarks seemed like the natural thing to do. It offers affordable office spaces, great weather and more shoreline than the whole coast of California.”
The company’s foray into the Ozarks, according to rumors, may be related to the region’s newfound image as a money laundering hotbed: Its most controversial resident, Marty Byrde, is being investigated for allegedly laundering money for a Mexican drug cartel.
A local resident, and a regular at the Lickety Spitz (a bar and lodge), said, requesting anonymity, “He’s real smart and he’s real dangerous. He got ties with the cartel. I saw him and some fellas in fancy suits, having drinks at the Spitz. They looked like they up to no good. Everybody knows he’s launderin’ money up the wazoo. And now, he got his eyes on … whatchamacallit … that crypto.”
It is currently believed that Byrde is putting together another elaborate scheme to move millions. Multiple ICOs have recently come to fruition in the region. Sheriff Nix, who works with the local police, thinks Byrde may be behind this activity.
“I suspect there is a deep and unsavory connection between Byrde and these ICOs,” he said.
At the same time, regulators are reportedly taking steps to ensure that these offerings follow the proper anti-money laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures.
Byrde is a former financial planner from Chicago, and moved to the Ozarks approximately a year ago. He has purchased several businesses, such as the Lickety Splitz, the Blue Cat Lodge, a funeral parlor and a hotel overlooking the Lake of the Ozarks. There is speculation that these businesses function as fronts for laundering millions of dollars of the cartel’s finances.
This story was written as part of PYMNTS’ annual April Fools’ Day edition, all in the spirit of good fun. Any resemblance to real news is purely coincidental. We hope you enjoyed it.