dirty money

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dirty money (uncountable)

  1. (idiomatic, business, law) Money that is illegally gained, illegally transferred or illegally utilized, especially money gained through forgery, bribery, prostitution, money laundering, or theft.
    Synonym: ill-gotten gains
    Antonym: clean money
    • 2018, Oliver Bullough, chapter 1, in Moneyland, Profile Books, →ISBN, page 15:
      Corruption is a force multiplier for the West's enemies, and yet the West continues to accept dirty money into its economies by the billion.
    • 2021 June 10, Mark Schoofs, “She Exposed the Truth About ‘Dirty Money’: It’s Everywhere”, in The New York Times[1]:
      Taken together, the articles exposed a dark truth: “Dirty money” — terrorist financing, drug cartel funds, fortunes embezzled from developing nations, the profits from organized crime — flows so freely through the world’s most powerful financial institutions that it has become inextricable from the so-called legitimate economy.
  2. (informal) Extra money paid to workers as compensation for dirty or dangerous work.
    • 1997, Janus, page 24:
      The days should be long gone when workers are paid dirty money to do a risky job []
    • 2015, Robert Sellers, The Secret Life of Ealing Studios:
      [] much of the set was smeared with oil and grease. This did, however, lead to a very unpleasant working environment. 'Everyone working on the film was paid “dirty” money,' recalls Maurice. 'I got seven and six a week “dirty money”, which was wonderful for a fifteen-year-old.'


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