Orlando Money Laundering Lawyer
Money laundering is one of the most common types of white collar crimes. White collar crimes are non-violent and are typically committed for financial gain. This is true of money laundering, as well, but many innocent people are charged every year. Money laundering is often depicted on television and in movies, but these depictions are not always accurate. Our Orlando money laundering lawyer explains what the offense really entails below.
What is Money Laundering?
In its simplest form, money laundering occurs when money is taken from an illegal source and placed into another source to make it appear legitimate. The purpose of money laundering is to make unlawfully-obtained money appear as though it was obtained honestly and legally. When the money is moved from one place to another basically “cleans” it, which is how the offense got its name.
Shell companies are commonly used in money laundering schemes. A shell company does not have active business or assets and is merely used as a place to deposit funds that were illegally acquired. False invoices and receipts are then created indicating that the shell company obtained the funds in a lawful manner. Even though some shell companies do operate as a legal business, their main purpose is to be used as a front for illegal activity.
Elements of Money Laundering
Money laundering is a federal offense under the Money Laundering Control Act of 1986. In order to secure a conviction for money laundering, the prosecution must prove certain elements of their case. The prosecution must first prove that the accused had knowledge that the money was acquired through illegal means. The simple act of transferring illegally-obtained funds without knowing where they came from is not enough to pursue a money laundering conviction.
The prosecution must also prove that the accused planned to take certain action using the dirty money. The prosecution must prove the defendant had the intent to:
- Engage in criminal activity
- Commit tax evasion or tax fraud
- Conceal the fact that the money was obtained illegally
- Avoid reporting certain transactions as outlined by federal law
Penalties for Money Laundering
Many people think that as a white collar crime, money laundering is victimless and that the prosecution does not take these cases seriously. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Money laundering is taken very seriously at all levels of the government. Those convicted face up to 20 years in federal prison and a maximum fine of $500,000, or twice the value of the money involved, whichever is greater. When making a decision on sentencing, a judge will consider the amount of money involved.
Call Our Money Laundering Lawyer in Orlando for a Free Consultation
If you have been investigated or indicted for money laundering, you need experienced legal help. At Joshi Law Firm, P.A., our seasoned Orlando money laundering lawyer can provide the necessary defense and refute the arguments of the prosecution so you have the best chance of beating the charges. Call us now at 407-661-1109 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.