Through sheer necessity, Lars had pivoted to a boutique money laundering model. He didn't actually mind, in many ways it was more fun than the old cashflow shuffling ways. More work for lower volume. But more fun.
After cryptocurrencies became less viable for large-scale laundering, going back to the old-school approach wasn't really straightforward. Gas stations? The financials were too predictable and easily understood by the authorities. Betting operations? Too closely scrutinized, too many regulatory requirements, too conspicuous. Running an art gallery? Actually that one was still workable, but he couldn't stand the scene. If he had to go to one more vernissage just to keep up appearances, he'd probably commit a violent crime.
And so it was down to specialy coffee shops, pop-up stores, and small-scale vegan meat substitutes production. His favourite were the influencers and streamers, because the tax administration had already gotten used to eye-watering revenues for seemingly absurd niches. £2 million per year from a youtuber specializing in mechanical keyboard reviews? Sure.
He was even in talks about an equine-assisted therapy thing, but even he felt like he should draw the line at "horse shrink".
He even liked the work now. The millenials (or gen x/y/z or whatever, he'd lost track) that he was "investing" in were excited puppies, with an almost neurotic disdain for bookkeeping, business licenses, rental agreements, and any other kind of paperwork.
Some of them were even seriously stressed out at the prospect of setting up a webshop and process payments. Which, for a generation that grew up with globally connected supercomputers in their pocket, was just baffling to Lars.
So his holding companies took care of the boring stuff like adding up the numbers, while his protégés couldn't thank him enough for the opportunity to perfect their craft, live their values, and be their best selves. They got all the party bragging rights of successfully paying rent with flat-whites, and he didn't have to rub elbows with the wives of rich absentee husbands at. another. fucking. vernissage.