West Palm Beach Federal Money Laundering Attorney
Knowledgeable Legal Representation and Procedural Expertise
Federal money laundering offenses are criminal activities that involve concealing or disguising funds derived from criminal activities, such as drug trafficking, extortion, racketeering, and other forms of illegal activity. Under sections 1956 and 1957 of the United States Code, money laundering offenses can carry jail time, civil fines, and forfeiture of assets associated with illegal transactions. A federal money laundering conviction is still possible even if the underlying criminal activity is not charged. Conduct that violates either statute could also implicate other federal crimes, like racketeer influenced and corrupt organization (RICO). To ensure your rights are protected, seeking legal assistance immediately upon being charged or investigated for this crime is important.
There are two main statutes in the United States Code that address money laundering:
- Title 18 U.S.C. § 1956 covers the prevention and prosecution of various money laundering activities involving the proceeds of specified unlawful activity. Individuals engaging in financial transactions with money they know was gained from criminal activity are in violation of the law. Money laundering is the crime of knowingly conducting financial transactions with the proceeds of unlawful activities with the intent to continue promoting said illegal activities or to violate tax laws. It is also unlawful to intentionally engage in financial transactions designed to conceal or disguise the source of the funds or avoid reporting requirements. Section 1956 violations are punishable by a fine or imprisonment of up to 20 years, or both. The fine can be up to $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved, whichever is greater.
- Title 18 U.S.C. § 1957 prohibits depositing, spending, or transferring property worth more than $10,000 through a financial institution if that property was derived from specified unlawful activity within the U.S. or its territorial jurisdiction, or is committed by a U.S. person outside these areas. Violations of this statute are punishable by a fine, imprisonment for up to 10 years, or both. The court may impose an alternate fine of up to twice the amount of the property involved.
Federal money laundering laws are designed to detect and deter money laundering by criminal organizations, terrorist financiers, and other individuals who would abuse the financial system for illegal purposes. This law provides stiff penalties for those found guilty of money laundering offenses, including fines, forfeiture of all assets related to the crime, and decades of imprisonment.
If you’re being investigated on federal money laundering charges, call the Law Offices of Greg Rosenfeld, P.A. today at (561) 902-1122 or contact us online. We can begin building your defense strategy immediately.
Consequences, Penalties, and Fines Upon Conviction
A federal money laundering conviction can have serious consequences, including fines of up to $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved, whichever is greater. If convicted, an individual could face up to 20 years in prison and forfeiture of all criminally associated assets. Once their debt is paid to society, a person convicted on federal money laundering charges will have a criminal record that can make it difficult to gain employment or pursue higher education in the future. Supervised release may follow any sentence imposed by the court, as well as suspension or revocation of government benefits and banking services. In addition, those convicted could be required to file suspicious activity reports with regulators for life.
The consequences of a federal money laundering conviction can be severe and include the following:
- Fines up to $500,000 or twice the value of the property
- Forfeiture of all assets related to the offense
- Imprisonment for up to 20 years
- Post-release supervision
- Suspension of any professional license involved in the offense
- Suspension or revocation of various government benefits, including financial aid and passport
- Denial of certain banking services
- A lifetime requirement to file suspicious activity reports with regulators
Money Laundering is a Serious Criminal Charge
If you’re being investigated for federal money laundering charges, the government suspects you are hiding money and assets obtained through illegal means. The investigation process can be invasive, involving freezing assets and combing through your financial history in search of disguised criminal financial transactions made to look legitimate. The government typically investigates or charges an individual with federal money laundering if it believes the individual is engaged in illegal business dealings. Because financial institutions are required to report any suspicious transactions they come across, such as large cash deposits or transfers that cannot be traced back to a legitimate source, money laundering cases charged by the federal government typically involve both state and federal violations. State and federal prosecutors will often work together to build their cases against an individual, which means experienced and knowledgeable legal representation is key to a successful outcome.
How West Palm Beach Federal Money Laundering Attorneys Can Help
Our West Palm Beach federal money laundering attorney at the Law Offices of Greg Rosenfeld, P.A. can fight to protect your constitutional rights and help you ensure that your rights are not trampled upon during the legal process. Our attorney is prepared to review potential defenses, evidence, and strategies in order to create a comprehensive defense plan. Through expertise and experience, Attorney Rosenfeld assists clients by negotiating plea bargains, fighting for sentence reductions when appropriate, and determining the best approach to each case. Whether it’s knowledge of current laws and sentencing guidelines or expertise in creating the best case for clients, our federal money laundering attorney is standing by to help you fight for your best outcome.
Serious Charges Require Serious Legal Assistance
Those facing federal money laundering charges should contact the Law Offices of Greg Rosenfeld, P.A. for a comprehensive defense strategy. Our law firm has extensive experience handling cases involving federal offenses and is well-versed in providing creative solutions for clients' legal needs. We are ready to help protect your rights throughout the entire process and work diligently to build the strongest possible defense tailored to your case. Our willingness to go above and beyond to provide superior service sets us apart, and we are ready to help those charged with felony crimes or offenses of federal law.
Common defenses for federal money laundering charges include:
- Unknowing Accomplice: Lack of knowledge about the true source of funds and evidence that the suspect was unaware of the illegal nature of their activities.
- Legal Transaction: Legitimate financial transactions were mistaken for illegal or criminally entangled dealings. An attorney can argue that investigated and suspected financial transactions had a legitimate purpose unrelated to money laundering.
- Entrapment: Entrapment in a money laundering case happens when a defendant has been induced or persuaded to commit a crime they would not have otherwise committed. Building an entrapment case requires evidence the defendant was induced by “overbearing” pressure, fraud, flattery, threats, or enticements that created an irresistible impulse to commit a crime.
- Necessity: If a defendant had no other reasonable alternative but to commit the illegal act, it could be argued it was necessary. This defense does not excuse the commission of a crime but can reduce or mitigate its severity if it is shown that illegal activity was resorted to in order to prevent some greater harm from occurring.
While not a defense, an attorney can argue that the statute of limitations on the money laundering charges has passed the date where it can be tried in court. It is important to note that these defenses can vary on a case-by-case basis and should be discussed with an experienced legal professional.
Contact the Law Offices of Greg Rosenfeld, P.A.
At the Law Offices of Greg Rosenfeld, P.A., our top priority is providing every client with the best legal representation and client services possible. With Attorney Rosenfeld's extensive experience and deep understanding of the law, you can trust that your case will be handled with care and precision. Contact us today to start building your defense!
Sources: 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956 and 1957