Money Laundering Defense Lawyers
Money laundering is the crime of concealing money that was obtained illegally, usually through transfers involving foreign banks or seemingly legitimate businesses. The federal government does not take allegations of this crime lightly, which is why if you are facing money laundering charges, you need to hire an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. These charges can subject a person, their business, and family to a great deal of hardship even before trial begins.
If you are facing charges for money laundering, you should contact our lawyers immediately. We have the experience needed for these complex cases to build an effective defense.
Money Laundering Laws
Money laundering is not explicitly defined as a crime in North Carolina law, though the activity is related to many laws on criminal activity in crimes that often involve money laundering, such as in drug trafficking. Most laws that go after money laundering are federal, largely because the crime entails transferring money in “interstate commerce” or national and foreign banks and businesses. Generally, the federal government has greater resources to pursue these kinds of crimes, so these charges should be taken even more seriously than seemingly equivalent state charges.
There are several federal laws in place to help the government investigate and punish money laundering, including:
- Bank Secrecy Act of 1970: This act requires financial institutions to report certain “suspicious” financial transactions to the U.S Department of Treasury. For example, they must report transactions over $10,000.
- Money Laundering Control Act of 1986: This act prohibits U.S citizens from making financial transactions using the profit of various crimes.
- USA Patriot Act of 2001: This act includes a provision called the “Money Laundering Abatement and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act”, which was intended to make it difficult for terrorists to launder money within the USA. It also allows the government to charge financial institutions who are “willfully blind” to money-laundering schemes in their institution, so they must hire employees to detect and track these schemes.
As for criminal punishment of money laundering, the racketeering laws under 18 U.S.C 95 cover penalties for money laundering convictions. For most money laundering crimes, the penalties entail large fines and prison sentences of up to 20 years, but life sentences are possible for laundering crimes involving violence.
Money Laundering Investigations
Money laundering crimes generally involve three key aspects:
- Transfer of money obtained illegally.
- Isolating the money from the illegal source to conceal its origins.
- Using the laundered money for legitimate legal purposes.
These three factors are why money laundering is considered a scheme, as it involves a process of transferring and concealing money that has been obtained illegally such that it appears legitimate.
For these charges to come about, investigators look for both obvious and subtle violations of regulations that have been established in laws, such as those described above. For example, frequent cash deposits made in a short period time of even dollar amounts can indicate drug trafficking activity. These investigations can be tricky as these schemes attempt to mimic lawful activity, which is why a person acting lawfully can get wrongfully charged with this crime.
Defending Against Money Laundering Charges
These cases are complex and require thorough review by an experienced lawyer. Your lawyer should be able to:
- Understand and present what the defendant was and was not aware of.
- Convey to the jury what the applicable laws are for these cases, dispelling any confusion or conflation with other crimes.
- Thorough review of transaction records, in consultation with relevant experts.
- Having an expert review and rebuke inaccurate and prejudiced impressions created by witnesses or the prosecution.
Our lawyers have successfully represented these cases and know how to carefully structure a defense based on the facts of the case. Most importantly, we are exceptionally skilled at taking these cases to trial, as we know the tactics used by prosecution that often push the defendant into a plea-bargaining position before a trial begins. If you would like to learn more about how we an help, or request a consultation with us, then leave us a message or call us today.