Money Laundering is a crime that involves converting money or property gained from illegal activities into money that appears to have been legally earned. Money laundering helps criminals of all kinds cover up the source of their funds, whether it be through embezzlement, selling drugs or fraud. Money laundering has three steps:
■Placement- Illegal funds are introduced into the mainstream economy.
■Layering-The funds are then layered into legitimate funds, making there source difficult to trace.
■Integration-The funds are fully integrated into the economy, without a discernible source.
Within these general steps, there are a number of more specific schemes to launder money. One of the most common is structuring, which entails depositing small amounts of illegal money into legitimate bank accounts.
Due to the large extent money laundering occurs in the U.S., the government has taken steps to crack down on this process. Money Laundering is prohibited under the Money Laundering Control Act of 1986. Individuals that help conceal money, avoid taxes or promote illegal activity through money laundering can be sentenced to up to 20 years in federal prison as well as a fine up to double the amount laundered. In addition, to these penalties, prosecutors often charge launderers with tax evasion, conspiracy and other crimes that carry their own penalties.
Due to the complexity and seriousness of money laundering charges, a good defense attorney can be the difference decades years in prison and freedom. If you have been charged with money laundering , contact the Blanch Law Firm immediately at 646-797-4790.