The US government tracks business and bank transactions with a watchful eye. If you operate in large cash transactions or do not keep your books up to date on all transactions, you may be flagged and investegated for a money laundering crime.
Clean reporting and transparency with your business are crucial, but if you find yourself backed into a wall by federal charges, you need a defense attorney experienced with white collar crime cases. If you are charged with money laundering, an attorney can help you understand exactly what transactions the government has deemed criminal and help you defend your practices. If you or your business is under investigation, do not speak to officials without a defense attorney.
What is Money Laundering?
Money laundering is a term used when a person conceals the origin or source of where money came from, typically by transferring funds to accounts in other countries or by using other legitimate businesses.
Acquiring or maintaining an interest in concealing, possessing, transferring, or transporting the proceeds of criminal activity
Conducting, supervising, or facilitating a transaction that involves the proceeds of criminal activity
Investing, expending, or receiving–or offering to invest, expend, or receive–the proceeds of criminal activity or funds that the person believes are the proceeds of criminal activity
Financing or investing–or intending to finance or invest–funds that the person believes are intended to further the commission of criminal activity.
Laundering “Dirty Money”
When “dirty money” enters the financial system, either by terrorism financing or drug trafficking, a process called “layering” occurs. Layering attempts to confuse the real source of money, usually by transferring money through various accounts. Then, during a process called “integration” money launderers will put that money in a legitimate business to better hide their assets so they don’t raise any suspicion. US Federal Law has adapted to more readily recognize processes resembling these as criminal and warrant investigation.
Common Sources of Dirty Money:
Terrorism Financing- Providing financial support to terrorists/terrorist organizations.
Extortion/Blackmail- Obtaining finances through force or threats.
Insider Trading- Trading with access to confidential information to one’s benefit.
Illegal Gambling- Gambling in and area where it is prohibited.
Smuggling- Transferring goods into or out of a country illegally (Firearms, persons, drugs)
Kidnapping and Assassination- Demanding funds related to either of these crimes.
Bribes- Using illegal financing to encourage favors.
Prostitution- Receiving payments in exchange for prostitution services.
Fraud- Deceiving with intent for financial gain.
Espionage- Paying to receive confidential information.
Theft and Embezzlement– Misappropriation of funds belonging to an employer or another individual/organization.
Conspiracy– Planning an unlawful activity (with intent of financial gain).
Anti-Money Laundering Law
Money laundering is addressed in 18 U.S. Code 1956, where US government has taken several steps towards cracking down on criminal financial activity. Beginning in 1970 with the Bank Secrecy Act, Congress determined that all banks would be required to report financial transactions of $10,000.01 or more to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, FinCEN. As a result, anyone depositing or removing large sums of money triggers a red flag, which bank tellers are trained to detect. Sixteen years later, when the Money Laundering Control Act of 1986 was passed, money laundering was officially classified as a federal crime.
And even since, the government has responded to heightened security threats from abroad with the US Patriot Act of 2001, which outlined an increased the scope of money laundering activity reporting. What does this mean? There are several offenses that can lead to money laundering penalties, both domestically and internationally, and the federal government does not take suspicious financial activity lightly.
Charged with Money Laundering? Call Justin
If you have been accused of involvement in any of the offenses above, Justin Sparks can help you sort through allegations and defense options. He offers a free consultation to evaluate your case and situation. Once hired, Justin immediately begins investigation and pre-trial preparation, ensuring your case gets the attention it requires. Call 817-334-0300
Justin Sparks has been defending clients across Fort Worth and Dallas for over ten years. Our firm helps you through the criminal process, from investigation to appeals, if need be. Free consultations for all new cases.