Federal Money Laundering Attorneys
You may have heard of money laundering before. It’s a common term used in crime television programs and in relation to drug conspiracies or major drug traffickers. However, the federal crime of money laundering relates to any sort of financial maneuvering that seeks to hide the source of illicitly obtained money.
According to the FBI, “money laundering is the process by which criminals conceal or disguise their proceeds and make them appear to have come from legitimate sources.” And whether you or a loved one is under investigation for taking part in a money laundering scheme, or you or a loved one was already arrested on these charges, you need to contact an experienced federal crimes attorney as soon as possible.
Call the federal money laundering attorneys at Grabel & Associates today at 1-800-342-7896 for a free consultation, and in the meantime, you can learn more about money laundering below.
What is Money Laundering?
Because of media attention, most people think of money laundering as a way for drug dealers to hide the source of their illicit activities. Usually, this is done via a “front business.” For instance, a drug dealer may own a restaurant and, to hide the source of the cash made from drug dealing, the restaurant owner writes extra profits on the business’s accounts. The restaurant may have made $1,000 in a week through normal activities, but the money launderer puts that the restaurant made $4,000 on paper. Therefore, the extra $3,000 made from drug dealing has been “cleaned” and it looks like a legitimate income.
It is important to remember that money laundering is not solely a tool for drug dealers, traffickers, and drug conspiracies. Some other crimes that require money laundering often include:
- Complex financial crimes
- Health care fraud
- Human trafficking
- International and domestic public corruption
- Narcotics trafficking
Also, criminals use more than small businesses to launder money. Other ways through which criminals launder their money include:
- Financial institutions
- International trade
- Precious medals
- Real estate
- Third party service providers
- Virtual currency
Money Laundering as a Federal Crime
Both states and the federal government target money laundering schemes. Although state governments do aggressively investigate and prosecute individuals suspected of money laundering, the federal government will step in when the alleged offenses cross state or international lines, or when large-scale criminal activities are occurring. The federal criminal statutes governing money laundering include:
According to these laws, a federal court can find an alleged offender guilty of money laundering if any of the following apply:
- The alleged offender knowingly represented the proceeds from any unlawful act as lawful and attempted to conduct any financial transaction with said proceeds, with the intent of promoting such unlawful activity, concealing the nature of the proceeds, or avoiding reporting requirements.
- The alleged offender transported, transmitted, or transferred any monetary instruments or funds throughout the United States to promote unlawful activity, conceal the nature of criminal proceeds or avoid financial reporting requirements.
- The alleged offender made false representations about criminal proceeds in order to affect any of the outcomes above, including concealing the nature of criminal proceeds, avoiding reporting requirements, or promoting unlawful activities.
The federal penalties for a money laundering charge often depend on the specifics of the crime. Nonetheless, convicted offenders may be looking at large fines and potential jail time. Fines can range up to $500,000 or based on the value of the property involved in the scheme. Imprisonment for money laundering can range up to 20 years.
Potential Defenses for a Money Laundering Charge
As you can see in the section above, there are several elements that the federal prosecution must prove in order to convict the defendant. Furthermore, because money laundering is a specific intent crime, your federal crimes defense attorney can employ a range of specific intent defenses, such as:
- There was an absence of intent to commit a crime — You were unaware that the money obtained was illegal and there was no intent to commit money laundering.
- You were under duress — You truly believed that you were facing immediate danger or harm if you didn’t participate in the crime.
- There is insufficient evidence — In money laundering charges, the prosecution must trace the illicitly obtained money to its origins. The prosecution must also show that an illegal activity took place. If these two elements are missing, the defense can claim that there is insufficient evidence.
Contact Grabel & Associates for an Expert Money Laundering Defense Attorney
With decades of experience and several successful cases defending individuals charged with money laundering, the federal crimes attorneys at Grabel & Associates ensure an aggressive, yet always professional, defense. We provide one-on-one communication to make sure that you’re informed and involved throughout every step of the criminal proceedings, and we will always put your interests first. Moreover, when it comes to defending your case, we’ll use a wide network of resources, gather evidence of our own, and use experience-backed knowledge of money laundering laws.
For a free consultation with your attorney, contact Grabel & Associates online or call us at 1-800-342-7896. Emergency consultations are also available 24/7.