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Oct. 1, 1998

Moon’s Banking Woes

The central bank of Uruguay has put Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s financial base in South America -- Banco de Credito -- under government supervision because of management and “liquidity” problems.

On Sept. 18, the central bank took the long-awaited move against Moon’s bank which allegedly has been kept afloat in the past by mysterious cash deposits carried into the country by Moon’s religious followers.

Since much of the money arrives as cash, authorities have had trouble determining if the money sources are legitimate or not.

According to a bank employees union, 4,200 Moon followers walked into the bank in 1996 and deposited a total of $80 million into a Moon-controlled account.

Besides Banco de Credito’s red-ink problems, the central bank stated that it was intervening to “improve the management” of the bank.

The move, however, raises other questions about the viability of Moon’s business and political operations in the United States, especially the financing The Washington Times, which costs Moon an estimated $100 million a year.

The developments in Uruguay raise the question: How can Moon afford such losses when his chief bank in the Western Hemisphere is on the brink?

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