WHAT IS MONEY LAUNDERING?
18 U.S.C. § 1956 defines the types of money laundering conduct, such as, domestic transactions, international transactions, and transactions involving property represented by an undercover law enforcement officer to be the proceeds of certain unlawful activity. 18 U.S.C. § 1957 prohibits depositing or spending more than $10,000 of the proceeds from specified unlawful activity.
ELEMENTS OF MONEY LAUNDERING
In every case of money laundering, it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- Defendant knew that the money was obtained from specified unlawful activity;
- Defendant conducted or attempted to conduct a financial transaction; and
- Defendant acted with one of the following four specific intents:
- to promote the carrying on of specified unlawful activity;
- to engage in tax evasion or tax fraud;
- to conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, ownership or control of proceeds of the specified unlawful activity; or
- to avoid a transaction reporting requirement under state or federal law.
PENALTIES FOR MONEY LAUNDERING
§ 1956 violations are punishable by fines and/or imprisonment up to 20 years. § 1957 carries a penalty of fines and/or imprisonment up to 10 years. Property involved in either case is subject to confiscation. Misconduct that implicates either § 1956 or § 1957 may implicate other federal criminal statutes as well.
POTENTIAL DEFENSES AGAINST MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES
LACK OF KNOWLEDGE.
Defendant did not know that the money involved in the financial transaction was obtained from unlawful activity.
NO FINANCIAL TRANSACTION.
Defendant did not conduct or attempt to conduct a “financial transaction”, as defined under § 1956(c)(4).
NON-SPECIFIED UNLAWFUL ACTIVITY.
The unlawful activity involved was not specified in the money laundering statute.
NO SPECIFIC INTENT.
Defendant did not act with one of the four specific intents to (1) promote the carrying on of specified unlawful activity; (2) engage in tax evasion or tax fraud; (3) conceal or disguise the proceeds; or (4) avoid a transaction reporting requirement.
CREATING REASONABLE DOUBT.
There exists insufficient evidence or reasonable doubt as it pertains to any element of the crime of money laundering.
CONTACT LEAF LEGAL, P.C. TODAY
If you or your company are facing federal money laundering charges in the SDNY, EDNY, or elsewhere in the United States, you need to retain qualified counsel as soon as possible. Stephanie Schuman and her team at Leaf Legal, P.C. can help. Contact us online or call 212-933-9420. We will work closely with you to build your defense and resolve your case.