MONEY LAUNDERING UNDER WASHINGTON LAW
The laundering of money is perhaps best understood by thinking of the crime as including two acts. The first involves a person obtaining money from an unlawful activity – for example, theft or the sale of drugs. The second involves the person transferring the money to conceal its location, source, or nature.
Let’s consider an example. If a person obtains $10,000 from the sale of drugs, he has committed a crime and received money from an unlawful activity. This is the first act necessary to establish money laundering. If nothing further is done with the money, then we don’t have a case involving laundering. However, if the person now makes small deposits of the money into different bank accounts over an extended amount of time, to conceal where it came from, then that person has now committed the crime of money laundering.
MONEY LAUNDERING PENALTIES
As with most white-collar crimes and crimes involving fraud, money laundering can lead to extremely harsh penalties. If found guilty of this crime, a person can spend decades behind bars and pay thousands of dollars in fines. The specific penalty will grow steeper with the amount laundered and the complexity of the crime.
In addition, you’ll notice that a person must commit one crime to launder money. In the example above, the sale of drugs took place before money could get laundered. Because of this initial crime, money laundering is often charged in the same indictment as the underlying crime. Thus, penalties for this crime can grow enormous as a person faces penalties for the laundering of money and the unlawful activity that generated the money.
DEFENSES TO MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES
There are many defenses a criminal defense attorney can raise to fight money laundering charges. For example, he may assert that authorities obtained evidence illegally or in violation of technical rules. Further, he may argue that there is no evidence to support the underlying activity that generated the money being questioned. If no underlying activity, then there’s little foundation to support a laundering charge.
The attorneys at Black & Askerov have extensive knowledge and skills in defending against and fighting money laundering charges. They are passionate in their representation and work extremely hard to ensure you understand every aspect of your case. Contact them today and get the criminal defense you deserve.