Money laundering of any kind can be a grave offense in Ohio, especially if it is charged as a Federal crime. Most state and federal laws outlaw four types of money laundering. They are 1) promotional, 2) concealment, 3) structuring, and 4) tax evasion laundering of proceeds generated by designated federal, state, and underlying foreign crimes (or predicate offenses).
Variations of money laundering offenses prohibit depositing or spending more than $10,000 of the proceeds from a predicate offense. Violations of these offenses are punishable by imprisonment for 10-20 years.
Any of your property involved may also be subject to confiscation, and misconduct that even suggests these offenses may implicate you in other federal criminal statutes as well.
Some federal offenses lists automatically include every RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) predicate offense up to and including a “federal crime of terrorism.”
Money laundering cases are legally complex and can impose dire consequences on you and impact your entire family.
Your experienced and knowledgeable Delaware criminal defense lawyer will most frequently use four significant strategies to begin your defense against a money laundering charge, these are:
- Lack of intent – you did not intend to commit any act that could violate Ohio money laundering laws.
- Duress – You were forced, under duress, to commit these acts.
- Entrapment – You were “set up” and entrapped into committing the act.
- Lack of knowledge – You were completely unaware that the money received was obtained illegally.
Have money laundering charges already been filed against you or someone you know? Your criminal defense lawyer may be able to step in to get those charges dropped or mitigated downward to a lesser charge.
For example, you usually can’t be found guilty of money laundering if you didn’t know that the money you were working with was obtained illegally. The same would hold true if you didn’t intend to obfuscate or conceal the source of the funds.
The most important thing to remember if you have been charged with any form of money laundering, is to consult with a qualified Delaware criminal defense lawyer as soon as you have been charged. If you think you may be charged in the near future, it is best to request a consultation beforehand if that is at all possible.
No case is ever exactly the same, so the sooner your lawyer goes over the specific details of your case, the better your chances of aggressively having all your rights defended.
What Constitutes the Crime of Money Laundering?
For most criminal organizations, money laundering is essential if they wish to use any illegally obtained money effectively. Attempting to deal with substantial amounts of illegal cash is dangerous and leaves them open to prosecution. Criminals are always looking for ways to deposit money into legitimate financial institutions. However, this can only be done if they can make it appear that the funds come from legitimate sources.
The most common process of money laundering typically involves three steps: placement, layering, and integration.
- Placement – Is the act of secretly injecting the “dirty money” into any legitimate financial institution or system.
- Layering – This is the act of concealing the source of the money through an intricate series of transactions and bookkeeping manipulations.
- Integration – The last step is to move “laundered” money and withdraw it from the legitimate account to be used for whatever purposes the criminals may have.
Many accounting and financial details must be looked over to begin to mount a successful defense in these cases. There also are many more ways to launder money, from the simple to the intricately complex. Consulting with your criminal defense lawyer, versed in these legal matters, is vital for you to mount a successful defense. Do not hesitate, as your future may depend on getting the best legal information as soon as physically possible.
What Are Some Other Forms of Money Laundering That Can Get Me Charged?
Another form of money laundering, slightly less common, is known as “smurfing” (or “structuring”) and is where you may break up large chunks of cash into multiple, less conspicuous deposits. Then you would spread them over many different accounts to avoid detection. This is still considered money laundering and a crime in most cases.
Some other forms of money-laundering methods include:
- Investing in commodities such as gems or gold that can move quickly and without detection.
- Discreetly investing and selling valuable assets such as real estate, cars, or boats.
- Gambling and laundering money at casinos.
- Counterfeiting or using “shell” or inactive companies or corporations that exist primarily just on paper.
Some of these things may seem innocuous, but they could land you with a money laundering charge and its subsequent penalties depending on the specifics. Each case must be defended differently, and the experience of your Ohio money laundering lawyer will be invaluable in your fight for your freedom.
How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer, Experience in Money Laundering Cases, Help Me?
In any case involving money laundering, other than an undercover “sting” operation, the prosecution must prove that the money you used was derived from a specific criminal activity under federal law. The prosecution must usually prove that if you are being charged, you had the knowledge and were aware that the money had been obtained from a specific criminal activity.
To convict you of money laundering, the prosecution must also prove a monetary transaction was involved. This “transaction” could be depositing the money in a bank or even spending the money in any way that helps promote or conceal criminal activities.
Quite often, the money used cannot be proven to be from a specific criminal activity. In that case, there can be no money laundering conviction regardless of how you obtained the money or what the person did with it.
Your criminal defense lawyer knows all the “ins’ & outs’” of these laws and the numerous and detailed steps that the prosecution must prove to convict you of a money laundering charge. Your lawyer will use all the information they can, including your rights to certain financial freedoms, to fight against the prosecutor’s charges, and win your case successfully.
I Have Been Charged With Money Laundering in Delaware, Ohio; How Should I Proceed?
Whether it’s a state, or worse, a federal money laundering charge, it can be legally incredibly complicated and tricky. You may be experiencing the stress of a money-laundering criminal case for the first time and should always consult a criminal defense lawyer with extensive money laundering case experience. The Delaware Law Office of Brian Jones, LLC has been successfully defending the rights and reputation of Ohio citizens in a myriad of money laundering cases for years. Consult with them as soon as possible, and don’t put your future at risk for something you didn’t do or were coerced into doing.