If you are facing charges of money laundering, you are likely dealing with multiple other criminal matters as well. Money laundering involves various methods of trying to make illegally obtained money seem legitimate. It can be a complex and sophisticated scheme and many times includes numerous people or entities.
Additionally, since money laundering is often a federal crime, the penalties for a conviction can be quite steep and unavoidable. When you learn that you are under investigation for money laundering or related crimes, you can assume police and federal agents have already gathered significant evidence against you, and you would be wise to begin immediately to build your defense strategy.
How it works
Often, charges of money laundering involve additional allegations, such as wire fraud, depending on the methods investigators believe you used to launder the money. In addition, if you are looking at charges of tax evasion, drug trafficking or embezzlement, authorities may suspect you are also involved in money laundering. Those involved in such enterprises cannot simply deposit the money into a bank account. A deposit from an unknown source of revenue is suspicious, and banks must report large deposits to authorities.
If investigators believe you are involved in such a criminal act, they may also assume you have found ways to launder the money. Typically, this involves placing the illegally obtained money into legitimate businesses, usually those that deal with large cash transactions. The next step is moving the money numerous times or making complex investments to complicate the path back to the source of the money. Afterwards, the funds are extracted and integrating into a legitimate financial system.
Facing the potential penalties
Investigators will have much to prove to convict you of money laundering. Recent advances in technology allow the use of online gaming, cryptocurrency, online auctions and digital gambling in money laundering, which are complex and difficult to trace. Nevertheless, authorities have sophisticated methods of investigation, and you would be wise to collect any evidence you have that connects your finances to legitimate sources of income.
The penalties you may face for a conviction depend on several factors, such as whether you are facing federal charges or charges from the state of California. Additionally, the amount of money in question and the damages to the alleged victims will also play a role. Suffice it to say, a conviction for money laundering and its related charges may lead to many years in prison, many thousands in fines and restitution, and a lifetime of hardship with a criminal record.