Over the last two decades official and media discourses have paid increasing attention to the proceeds of ‘organized crime’. However, although there is a relatively sound understanding of finance-related issues in the drug markets, not much is known about other illegal markets. Drawing on a diverse set of original empirical data, including interviews with active criminal entrepreneurs involved in the trade, this article provides an account of the financial management of the illicit tobacco business in the United Kingdom. The study has two main objectives. First, to increase knowledge on the financial management of ‘organized crime’ by using the illegal tobacco trade in the United Kingdom as a case study and second, to further knowledge of the trade’s social organization. The findings suggest a critical departure from the discourses on ‘organized crime’ and crime money.