Money laundering is a serious federal crime that involves taking “dirty” or criminally obtained money and making it appear as though it came from a “clean” legal source. Money can be laundered in a variety of ways, and the crime is generally associated with organized crime or international terrorism.
If you or a loved one has been or may be convicted of money laundering, it can have a serious impact on your life. Understanding the charges and obtaining a qualified federal defense team is an important step in protecting your future.
The state of Florida has specific money laundering statutes, and the federal government does as well. While money laundering may be charged in either a Florida state court or a federal court, the majority of money laundering cases are federal.
Because money laundering is associated with undermining the financial system of the U.S., government agencies such as the FBI, IRS, DEA, and U.S. Department of the Treasury have a vested interest in investigating and bringing charges against those suspected in money laundering.
Additional charges, such as drug trafficking, mortgage fraud, terrorism, and securities fraud are not uncommon. Individuals who find themselves suspects or charged in federal money laundering will face an intense prosecution team and a difficult legal battle.
In response to increased drug trade of the 1980’s, the Money Laundering Act of 1986 was passed by Congress which officially made money laundering a federal crime with substantial prison sentences. Title 18 U.S. Code 1956 is generally concerned with the financial transactions involved in the proceeds of illegal activity, whether from trafficking drugs, terrorism, mortgage fraud, evading IRS payments, or other unlawful activities.
Title 18 U.S. Code 1956 can be applied when the suspect knows that a financial transaction is designed, either in whole or in part, to conceal profits from illegal activities. This can be in the form of disguising the nature, location, source, ownership, or control of the profits, or not reporting a transaction required under state or federal laws.
The Money Laundering Act of 1986 determined that there was no minimum threshold of funds for charges to be filed. Whether an individual laundered $1 or $10,000, they would receive the same amount of scrutiny under the law.
Money laundering is a serious crime with harsh monetary and prison requirements. The penalties can vary depending on the amount of money processed, the degree of sophistication in the activity, and the level of knowledge the accused had.
A federal money laundering charge can result in as much as a $500,000 fine, or double the amount of money laundered. In addition, the defendant can be sentenced to a 20 year federal prison sentence.
In addition to fines and prison sentences, civil asset forfeiture can be an additional concern for those charged with money laundering. Civil asset forfeiture is a legal process that allows local or federal government to seize funds and personal possessions considered to be involved in criminal activities. Legal assistance is often required to reacquire items seized.
Money laundering is a serious federal crime. If you have been accused of money laundering, do not take any chances with your defense team.
At Tim Bower Rodriguez, PA, we have extensive experience and knowledge in litigating Federal court cases. Our team will fight aggressively on your behalf to build an effective, strategic money laundering defense. Contact us for a free initial consultation today.