Several laws have been passed to combat money laundering crimes over the past several decades. Originally, money laundering laws were passed to fight organized crime. Those efforts have more recently shifted to fight drug crimes and anti-terrorist activities.
The Bank Secrecy Act required banks to report large cash transactions in excess of $10,000. Banks are also required to report suspicious transactions that they might believe are related to criminal activities. In 1986, the Money Laundering Control Act prohibited people from engaging in financial transactions with the proceeds of certain crimes. More recently, following the World Trade Center attacks in 2001, the USA Patriot Act was passed which included strengthening and more stringently regulating financial transactions. With all of these laws on the books, there are several ways that an investigation can be triggered that can result in fines or criminal prosecution.
Money laundering cases are complicated
What this means is that federal officials have a significant amount of resources in place to deal with perceived money laundering activities. If you are suspected of money laundering, you can expect that the government will devote whatever resources it deems appropriate to thoroughly investigate your case. In response, to maintain your freedom, you will need to mount an equally thorough defense. Because money laundering cases can be complex and will probably require an extensive amount of investigatory work, you can expect your life to be disrupted for quite some time going forward.
You will need to hire an experienced defense attorney
Penalties and prison times can be significant, so you will need to hire a skilled defense attorney who has years of experience in dealing with money laundering cases. To obtain a conviction, a prosecutor will need to prove that a defendant intentionally and knowingly attempted to conceal the origin or destination of funds derived from a criminal act.
To counter this, a defense attorney can employ several strategies, the most basic of which is showing that there was no evidence of criminal intent. Depending on the circumstances of the case, it may also be possible to show that there is no evidence that the funds in question were derived from a crime or that there is no evidence whatsoever that money was hidden.
The Law Office of Ginger Kelley serves clients in Newport Beach, Santa Ana and communities throughout Orange County, California.