Money laundering is one of several crimes commonly referred to as white-collar crimes. These crimes can also be called economic crimes or corporate crimes. Bribery, conspiracy, embezzlement, extortion and counterfeiting are other examples of white collar crimes. White collar crimes are typically non-violent in nature and involve instances of theft or fraud.
In the case of money laundering, the fraud occurs when individuals attempt to hide the source of a revenue stream. Money laundering cases involve the deliberate movement of funds through the system in order to “wash” the money and make it appear as though the money is part of a legitimate revenue stream. This might be done by taking revenue earned through illegal means and adding it to the revenue records of a legitimate business in order to make it appear as though the business gained the revenue. Laundered money can also be hidden in bank accounts.
For example, fans of the show Breaking Bad remember that Walter and Skylar White used their recently purchased carwash as a way to launder money from Walter's methamphetamine cooking operation.
Drug dealing is one source of revenue individuals may seek to launder, but there are others. These sources include healthcare, Medicare and mortgage fraud, bribery, contraband, piracy, smuggling and tampering. The act of failing to report a cash transaction over $10,000, accurately determine the source of a large amount of money or structuring a transaction to hide it's true value could all also be considered money laundering actions.
While money laundering crimes rarely involve violence, the consequences of a conviction can be severe. The severity of the charges stems from money laundering's common connection to international terrorism, drug rings and other crimes that violate federal laws.
Minnesota State Statute states individuals guilty of concealing criminal proceeds under Statute 609.497 could face 20 years in prison and a fine of up-to $1,000,000.
If you are guilty of money laundering across state lines, Federal statute calls for a fine of up to $500,000 or double the amount of money laundered, whichever is greater. Guilty parties could also face prison sentences of up to 20 years.
Whether you are charged with a state or federal crime, the length of your prison sentence and/or the amount of your fine will often depend on the amount of money that was laundered.
It is also common in money laundering cases for the individual facing these charges to also be charged with forfeiture charges. Under forfeiture, the governing body attempts to recoup assets for the laundered revenue. This commonly includes real estate, vehicles, clean money or other items of value.
Whether you are facing charges at the federal or state level, the consequences of a money laundering conviction are severe. Because of this, it is crucial you contact an experienced attorney immediately. Don't wait until you are charged with a crime. Contact an attorney as soon as the investigation begins.
If you have been charged with violating the money laundering laws in Minnesota, you need experienced legal counsel. Contact Attorney Eric J. Olson for vigorous defense and unrivaled results.