Many people are not aware of the array of white collar financial crimes, and the differences between them. Embezzlement, money laundering, tax evasion, and other financial crimes have marked differences, and prosecutors must prove different elements to convict you of each one. If you are charged with, or are under investigation for money laundering, you should protect yourself immediately by contacting an experienced Minnesota money laundering lawyer.
An attorney will review every detail of your case and will patiently and thoroughly walk you through the process so that you will have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have retained experienced legal counsel. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to craft a strong defense, assisting you in defending the charges at trial or minimizing any potential penalties.
DEFINING MONEY LAUNDERING
Money laundering is the act of concealing or attempting to conceal the origin of money that actually came from criminal activity. Proceeds of crimes is referred to as “dirty money,” while money gained from legitimate sources is “clean money.” Money laundering is the aptly titled process of making dirty money appear as if it was clean money. Money laundering is often associated with drug trafficking operations and organized crime.
There are three major aspects to a money laundering scheme. The first is placement, in which someone gets dirty money into a legal banking channel. The second is layering, which involves breaking large amounts of money into smaller pieces that are more difficult to detect. Finally, integration occurs when the dirty money is indecipherable from clean money and can be spent in a normal fashion without attracting the attention of law enforcement. To be found guilty of money laundering, a person does not have to be successful in disguising the source of the money.
The money laundering control act further prohibits spending more than $10,000 of illegally obtained money, whether or not an individual intended to conceal it. Furthermore, if a person commits money laundering along with another specified crime, such as drug trafficking or extortion, he or she may be additionally charged for racketeering under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
Bank employees who assist in money laundering, refuse to cooperate with investigations, or do not keep appropriate records of certain financial transactions may be found in violation of the Bank Secrecy Act. A Minnesota money laundering attorney can help any individual with determining the best court of action for their particular case.
If an individual is charged with money laundering, standard criminal defenses are available. Some of the common defenses that a Minnesota money laundering lawyer will employ include:
Proving an individual had no intent to disguise the source of the money.
An individual committed the money laundering because they were under duress by another person and believed that them or their family would be in danger of harm if they did not launder the money.
The money was not actually gained by illegal acts.
Proving that there is insufficient evidence to prove all elements of the crime.
A prosecutor must prove both that the money came from an illegal source, and that the accused individual intended to disguise the origin of the money. If one of these elements cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, then the individual should avoid a conviction.
If an individual is convicted of money laundering under the Money Laundering Control Act, they may face up to 20 years behind bars, and a fine of up to $500,000 or twice the amount of money involved, whichever is higher. If an individual is also convicted of racketeering offenses under RICO, they could face an additional $25,000 fine and 20 years in prison for each count charged. A Minnesota federal money laundering attorney can help lessen any penalties that a person may be up against.
RETAINING AN ATTORNEY
Money laundering is a serious offense with very harsh penalties. Moreover, this type of case can be extremely complicated and involve a large amount of evidence. The government usually conducts a lengthy investigation into money laundering schemes and may believe it has significant evidence against you.
You will have to present your own evidence to counter the government’s evidence and to prove any defenses asserted. For these reasons, it is highly important that you have an experienced Minnesota money laundering attorney from Kassius Benson Law, P.A. at 612-333-2755 to help minimize or eliminate any of the penalties you may face.