Money Laundering charges typically attach to other forms of bank fraud or tax crimes. A serious federal charge, investigations into money laundering typically take place over the course of several years and are the byproduct of an expansive effort by federal agents and IRS officials.
Codified by 18 U.S.C. § 1356, 1957, just about any financial or monetary transaction involving money obtained from unlawful activity can be a federal money laundering offense. As alluded to, prosecutors routinely attach money laundering to other white-collar offenses because they are typically easier to prove yet call for just as much, if not more prison time. Of course, money laundering charges are also frequently coupled with federal drug crimes as well, whereby individuals accused of profiting from the sale of controlled substances are then also accused of funneling these proceeds into the banking system by illegitimate means in an effort to bypass federal tax requirements.
Specifically, money laundering includes acts such as:
Being charged with money laundering will subsequently entail voluminous discovery productions by federal prosecutors. It is crucial that your defense attorney efficiently organize and interpret this evidence, and begin a counter-investigation by issuing subpoenas, tracking down favorable witnesses, and locating exculpatory evidence to show that you did not illegally funnel money into the banking system or avoid paying taxes on your income. If mishandled, a money laundering conviction on its own or with enhancements may lead to decades behind bars and hefty fines. Only an experienced criminal defense lawyer who has years of experience in dealing with such cases can properly help.
If you are accused of money laundering, hire a former prosecutor and prominent criminal defense attorney who has dealt with these offenses on both sides of the courtroom. The steps your defense attorney takes, by way of investigation and creative advocacy, will increase your chances of successfully walking away from these accusations and shape the rest of your life.
The sooner you put your case in the hands of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the more opportunity you will have to work toward a favorable outcome.