Anyone can be accused of money laundering. While many associate the crime with hardened criminals, it’s actually common in the corporate world. Those who are involved in transferring or handling money in their personal life or in their professional life could be suspected of money laundering due to a misunderstanding.
If you have been accused of money laundering, you should be aware that there could be serious legal consequences if you are convicted. This is why it is so important that you take the time to understand the law, how it applies to you, and the possible defenses at your disposal.
The laws that prevent and punish money laundering
There are several federal laws that have been passed in order to prevent money laundering. Many of these laws were initially put in place to limit the control of the Mafia and other criminal organizations. However, they now mostly serve the purpose of preventing money gained through illegal activity entering legitimate channels.
The Money Laundering Control Act of 1986 is one of the key laws that apply to alleged cases of money laundering. It enables the prosecution of a wide range of actions relating to criminal funds. Because of the broad definition of money laundering, almost any type of financial transaction that takes place with the intent of covering up criminal funds could count as money laundering under the act.
How can I defend myself against an accusation of money laundering?
In order to successfully defend yourself against money laundering, you will need to show that at least one of the elements of the crime was not present. There are two elements to a money laundering offense. The first is the laundering itself — the entering of criminal funds into seemingly legitimate channels. The second is the intent to do this and the knowledge of what is happening.
For example, you may want to defend yourself by arguing that you lacked intent because although you made the transaction, you were not aware that the funds being transferred were involved in criminal activity.
Being convicted of money laundering can lead to criminal charges, but it can also ruin your reputation as a business person. Make sure that you take action to aggressively defend yourself and to clear your name.