Pursuant to the Money Laundering Control Act of 1986, it is a federal crime to knowingly engage in a financial transaction with the intention of concealing the proceeds of illegal activities. The most serious illegal activities that the law singles out are those who attempt to hide the ownership, control, or source of the money at issue.
If you have been charged with money laundering at the federal level, you are likely facing significant penalties and criminal consequences upon conviction. A federal money laundering criminal defense lawyer in Philadelphia can review the circumstances of the financial transaction or transactions at issue in your case. A lawyer may be able to assert a defense to the charge on your behalf or negotiate for a reduced charge or criminal penalty at the time of sentencing.
The Money Laundering Control Act of 1986 prohibits a variety of illegal transactions. The law defines “transactions” very broadly. A “transaction” under the law refers to a bank transaction, such as a deposit, withdrawal, loan, or money transfer. “Transactions” can also include purchases, sales, or loans.
In order for you to be charged with money laundering, the financial transaction need not be one hundred percent complete. If you attempt to make the illegal transaction, a federal prosecutor could still charge you with money laundering.
Moreover, a transaction that involves money laundering usually – but does not need to – involve a bank, credit union, or other financial institution. An illegal money laundering transaction could involve something as simple as passing money to another person – with the intention of concealing or disguising who owns or controls it (or where the money comes from). Even though a bank is not involved under those circumstances, a federal prosecutor could still indict you for money laundering.
The financial transaction at issue does not even need to involve money. Under the Act, a person may not perform (or take part in) a financial transaction that involves property obtained through criminal activity, in order to try and hide where the property comes from (or who owns the property). In order to be charged criminally, the accused must have specifically intended to further the criminal activity at issue.
Finally, it is against the law to transfer or transport illegally obtained funds into or out of the United States. A federal money laundering defense lawyer in Philadelphia can review your specific charge and present you with all of your available legal options.
In federal money laundering cases, the burden of proof on the government prosecutor is extremely high. The prosecutor must prove his or her case beyond a reasonable doubt and must demonstrate that you intended to conceal the origin of the money or property at issue.
The prosecutor may be able to demonstrate the intent element based upon either direct or circumstantial evidence. Specifically, the prosecutor may be able to show that you deposited a large sum of money in a bank account – and that a fake off-shore company transferred the money to the bank, or that the cash was exchanged for larger bills on a previous occasion.
The federal prosecutor assigned to your case must prove all of the legal elements – including the intent element – beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot meet his or her burden of proof, a judge or a jury will not be able to convict you of money laundering. An experienced Philadelphia money laundering defense lawyer can review the facts of your case with you and poke the necessary holes in the federal prosecutor’s case, in hopes of obtaining a dismissal on your behalf.
If you are tried, found guilty, and convicted of money laundering in the federal court system, you will likely be facing serious penalties and consequences. If you are ultimately found guilty and convicted of money laundering it the federal system, you could be hit with one or both of the following:
If you have been charged with money laundering at the federal level, a good legal defense could help you obtain a complete dismissal of your charge. Potential defenses to a federal crime of money laundering include the following:
If you have been charged with federal money laundering, there is no time to lose in seeking out experienced, professional legal counsel to represent you in your criminal case. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a knowledgeable Philadelphia federal money laundering defense lawyer, you should call us today at 215-712-1212, or contact us online.
The criminal defense attorneys of Wimmer Criminal Defense may be able to provide representation during proceedings. To schedule a free and confidential case review, call today
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