What Constitutes Federal Money Laundering?

Posted on in Money Laundering

IL defense lawyerFor those unaware, money laundering is a crime categorized as a federal white-collar offense involving the process of disguising the proceeds of illegal activity as legitimate money and involving individuals in multiple states or countries. Money laundering is taken very seriously by law enforcement authorities and can carry severe criminal penalties like fines, significant prison time, and asset forfeiture. If you have been charged with money laundering, immediately contact a criminal defense attorney to fight these charges.

Everything You Need to Know About Federal Money Laundering

When it comes to federal money laundering, the core elements of the offense involve using the financial system to conceal the illegal source of funds. Specifically, federal money laundering often consists of a series of transactions designed to make it appear that funds are from a legitimate source when in reality, the funds come from criminal activities such as drug trafficking, fraud, or other illegal activity.

Federal money laundering can involve a wide variety of financial transactions, including structuring transactions in a way that avoids triggering financial reporting requirements, using financial institutions in different jurisdictions to transfer funds, buying and selling high-value items such as real estate or jewelry with illegal proceeds, and using cash to buy assets or to fund businesses, and more.

Key Elements of Federal Money Laundering

For the prosecution, an essential element in federal money laundering is proving that the defendant knowingly engaged in the transaction with the intent of concealing the source of illegal proceeds with individuals in different states or countries. Prosecutors must show that the defendant intentionally attempted to conceal the illicit source of funds and that they knew the money was derived from criminal activity.

The federal statute for money laundering is broad and encompasses any transaction involving the proceeds of illegal activities. As a result, to charge someone with federal money laundering, there does not need to be an underlying criminal case related to the source of the funds. This means that a person can be charged with money laundering even if there is no direct evidence that a crime has been committed.

An example of federal money laundering may look like this: consider a scenario where a person using a legitimate business, like a car wash or restaurant, to disguise proceeds from illegal activities, such as drug trafficking, and then depositing the money into a bank account to make it appear as if it came from a legal source. This would be a clear violation of federal money laundering laws.

Contact a Chicago, IL Money Laundering Attorney

Being convicted of money laundering can result in decades in prison and hefty fines. To fight money laundering charges, contact the skilled Chicago, IL, money laundering lawyer with Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney. Call 312-629-0669 for a free consultation.


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