Money laundering is both a federal as well as a Florida state crime that prohibits “cleaning” illegal money by depositing it into legitimate financial institutions, charities, or businesses.
The laundering occurs in three steps that include:
- Placement is when the dirty money is introduced into the legitimate market.
- Layering is when the money is moved around to obscure its criminal origins.
- Integration is when the money becomes part of a legitimate banking institution or business.
Money laundering is used in an array of criminal enterprises: tax evasion, gambling, drugs, arms sales, counterfeit merchandise, sex and human trafficking, and terrorism.
There are at least seven federal statutes that target money laundering, requiring banking and institutional reporting of suspicious activities.
Suspicious activities include:
- Large cash deposits in banks and securities firms
- Cash payments in real estate transactions
- Cash payment for car purchases
- Large international money transfers
The Patriot Act and the subsequent Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act created additional regulatory schemes to prevent international money transfers in support of terrorist networks.
Because money laundering is connected with other serious crimes, the government dedicates considerable resources into these investigations once they begin. With these heavy investments of money and manpower, if you are accused of money laundering or associated with an organization that is being investigated for this crime, you should seek counsel from an experienced Florida federal criminal defense lawyer attorney immediately.
On the federal level, the penalties are especially harsh. Sentences of 20 years per count, which means per illegal transaction, and fines of $500,000 or double the amount of illegal money involved can be imposed upon conviction.
Florida mimics the federal prohibitions against money laundering and its penalties. Thus, a Florida court can impose similar penalties and civil fines as well as imprisonment.
The illegal assets, too, are subject to confiscation by the government along with any homes, apartments, cars, jewelry, businesses, and personal possessions purchased with illegal funds.
Talk to a skilled Florida criminal defense lawyer today
Even if you are under investigation or have already been arrested, you have the right to legal counsel. Don’t forgo that right – and don’t try to go it alone.
Call (305) 403-7323 or reach out to attorney Nayib Hassan online to discuss your case and your needs.