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5 Things to Know About Money Laundering

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If you are under investigation for money laundering or you are facing any kind of white collar criminal charges related to money laundering, you need an experienced Texas white collar criminal defense attorney on your side to help with your case. Our firm can develop a defense strategy that is tailored to the particular circumstances of your case with the goal of helping you to beat the charges. Do not wait to get in touch with us. The sooner you begin working on your defense, the better equipped you will be to fight the charges against you. In the meantime, we have five things you should know about money laundering.


1. Money Laundering is a Broad Term for Certain Financial Offenses

There is not a single definition of money laundering, and it is not a single charge under federal law. Instead, it is a broader term that refers to specific types of white collar offenses. According to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, money laundering “involves disguising financial assets so they can be used without detection of the illegal activity that produced them.” The Cornell Legal Information Institute (LII) says that the term “refers to a financial transaction scheme that aims to conceal the identity, source, and destination of illicitly-obtained money.”


2. Three Kinds of Criminal Conduct Constitute Money Laundering Under Federal Law

Under federal law, there are three specific laws that criminalize conduct involving money laundering:

  • Domestic money laundering (18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1));

  • International money laundering transactions (18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(2)); and

  • Undercover ‘sting’ money laundering transactions (18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(3)).


3. Prosecutor Must Prove Intent or Knowledge for a Conviction

While each of the three types of conduct above have specific elements that the prosecution must prove, each requires that the prosecutor show that the defendant intended to engage in money laundering or had knowledge of the source or illicit nature of the funds. To be clear, intent in some capacity is necessary for a conviction.


4. Some Money Laundering Offenses Can Result in Civil Penalties

While money laundering will usually result in criminal charges, it is important to know that the federal government can also take civil enforcement action, resulting in significant civil penalties.


5. Convictions Result in Severe Penalties

If you are convicted of one of the federal money laundering offenses, you need to know that you will likely be facing serious prison time and substantial fines. To be sure, you could be sentenced to a term of up to 20 years in prison and monetary fines of up to $500,000. Although money laundering is a white-collar crime that does not involve any kind of violent actions, it is taken extremely seriously and in fact results in more serious penalties than many types of violent crimes upon conviction.


Contact Our White Collar Criminal Defense Lawyers in Dallas

If you are facing any type of criminal charge related to money laundering, it is critical to begin working with an aggressive Dallas white collar criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Our firm has years of experience representing clients in money laundering and other types of white collar defenses, and we can speak with you today about your case. Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC for more information.