Broward Criminal Lawyers
Money laundering is the criminal activity of channeling money that is received through illegal activity and placing it into other legal resources with the intent of concealing it. The purpose behind money laundering is to conceal the source of the money, and prevent that money from being seized or taxed by the government. Money laundering is considered a white collar crime. Money laundering is criminalized under both state and federal laws.
According to the International Monetary Fund, the amount of money laundered every year is estimated to be between $600 billion and $1.5 trillion.
Spending vs Concealment
Money laundering can implicate concealing illegally obtained funds, but it doesn’t include merely spending money. If, for example, you make $3,000 selling stolen goods and then make a purchase, you have not laundered any money. You have committed the crime of dealing in stolen goods but you have not concealed where that money came from, so you have not laundered the money.
To prove federal money laundering charges, prosecutors must show an individual concealed money with intent to conceal the location, ownership, source, nature, or control of the money. It isn’t money laundering if you are trying to conceal money while traveling by putting it in a hidden place. Laundering would involve taking that money and trying to make it appear as if it came from a legitimate source.
Money laundering targets the intent act of concealing, or attempting to conceal, the ill-begotten proceeds of criminal activity. Courts have ruled that there must be some criminal activity involved that produced the profits before it can be considered money laundering.
Criminal Proceeds or Criminal Receipts
The Supreme Court has also ruled that federal money laundering laws don’t apply when someone is making money from crime. If you decide to run an illegal lottery in which you collect money from people who play and then pay the winners, this isn’t money laundering. Though you’re receiving money from illegal activity and using that money to pay winners, money laundering requires that you in some way try to hide the profits from your activity.
State and federal money laundering laws differ significantly in the possible penalties associated with them. Money laundering convictions typically result in fines, prison, probation, or a combination of penalties.
Money laundering is more often charged as a felony offense, but in some states charges can result as a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor money laundering conviction can mean up to one year in jail, while felony convictions can result in a year or more in prison.
Money laundering fines can be quite expensive. While misdemeanor convictions can result in fines up to no more than a few thousand dollars, a federal conviction for money laundering can result in fines of up to $500,000 or double the amount of money that was laundered, whichever is greater.
Probation sentences typically last at least one year, but sometimes as long as three years or more. During the time you’re on probation you have to meet specific probation conditions. Probation terms typically include regularly reporting to a probation officer, allowing the officer to conduct random home checks, taking random drug tests, and keeping your nose clean. If you violate probation a court can revoke it and order you to serve a prison term, lengthen the probation period, impose additional fines, or impose other penalties.
Consult Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A. Law
If you or someone you know is convicted of money laundering it could ruin your life. You need an experienced and dedicated attorney who can review your case and talk to you regarding your rights. You have options and our knowledgeable defense team is here to help. Federal and state money laundering laws also have significant differences so you need an attorney who understands these differences so you can receive the best legal advice.
Criminal Defense Lawyers
Money laundering has in recent years received more and more attention from local and federal law enforcement due to its role in financing terrorism. These agencies, including the FBI and Attorney General’s Office, are dedicating more time and resources to investigating and convicting money laundering crimes. Being charged of this crime can be very daunting. If you are facing charges of money laundering, it would be in your best interest to hire a criminal defense attorney immediately.
Common Types of Money Laundering
Many people think of drug crimes when they think of money laundering. While this is widespread, money laundering is also linked with other areas of crime. These can include business fraud, mortgage fraud, real estate fraud, illegal wire transfers, health care fraud, and more. One example is a fake check cashing outlet fashioned to cash insurance checks that were dispensed in fraudulent health insurance claims.
Recently, the Florida government, as well as the federal government, has endorsed laws in order to more easily uncover illegal activities such as this. Banks are cooperating by using cutting-edge data systems as well as high tech security systems. Employees are trained what to look for and maintain an ongoing working relationship with law enforcement.
Penalties for Money Laundering in Florida
You can be facing as much as 30 years in prison for a first degree felony if convicted of money laundering in Florida. The punishment is according to how much money was involved.
Up to 5 years in state prison – 3rd degree felony for $301-$19,999 within a 12 month period.
Up to 15 years in state prison – 2nd degree felony for $20,000-$99,999 within a 12 month period.
Up to 30 years in state prison – 1st degree felony for $100,000 or more
If you are convicted of money laundering, or are under investigation, it is critical to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at the law firm of Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A. Law proudly serve Broward County, having 50 years of combined experience in dealing with money laundering and other white collar crimes.
It takes experience and skill to successfully defend these charges. You need a professional who will steadfastly and diligently work to defend your constitutional rights, whether you are only under investigation or you have been arrested. We also offer a free case evaluation, so contact us today.