Understanding Federal Money Laundering Charges in Illinois

Posted on in Money Laundering

Chicago IL federal crime defense attorneyNot all crimes that take place are crimes of violence. Some crimes can be just as destructive without directly causing any physical harm to people. Many of these crimes are related to finance or technology and are broadly referred to as white collar crimes. Now, more than ever, white collar crimes are easier to commit as technology advances further, and in the United States, a variety of task forces and federal agencies investigate and prosecute them. One type of white collar crime that is commonly associated with both low-level and high-profile crime is called money laundering.

What is Money Laundering?

In general, money laundering occurs when large amounts of money that are obtained through criminal activity are handled in a way that makes the money look as if it came from a legal source. In other words, money laundering takes “dirty” money and makes it “clean.” Many times, money laundering is a result of other criminal activity, such as drug trafficking or manufacturing. Most of these illegal businesses operate with cash, but keeping thousands and sometimes millions of dollars on hand is inefficient. Money laundering allows criminals to deposit that money into a legitimate financial institution without it looking suspicious.

How Does Money Laundering Take Place?

Many small-scale money laundering operations take place throughout the United States. For example, a criminal drug organization may own a restaurant or barbershop that they use to funnel money through. The company may report more than what they actually bring in each night at the restaurant or barbershop so they can include some of the “dirty” or criminal money in the bank deposit for the legitimate business. Once all of the money has been deposited, the criminals are free to withdraw the money at any time, without fear of it being traced back as illegal cash.

What Are the Penalties for a Money Laundering Conviction?

Money laundering can become a serious offense rather quickly. According to U.S. federal law, money laundering can come with severe penalties including up to $500,000 in fines or twice the amount of money that was laundered, whichever is greater. A person convicted of money laundering also faces up to 20 years in prison or a combination of both prison time and fines.

Contact a Chicago, IL Money Laundering Defense Lawyer Today

Many people think of white collar crimes as victimless crimes, but in many cases, money laundering schemes are a front for much more insidious crimes, such as human trafficking, illegal drug trafficking, or other damaging crimes. If you have been charged with federal money laundering or similar white collar crimes, you need help from an Illinois money laundering defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel, we understand the complexities that come with a federal money laundering charge and are ready to help you form the best possible defense. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 312-629-0669.



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