Money laundering is a complex federal offense which involves making illegally-gained proceeds (“dirty money”) appear legitimate or “clean” through a series of complex financial transfers and transactions. In order to prove money laundering, the federal government must show that the accused person expected to receive the money back, since simply receiving the proceeds of illegal activity may not actually constitute money laundering. Below we’ll discuss the elements of money laundering and common defense strategies.
Money Laundering Elements
To prosecute someone for money laundering, federal prosecutors must prove every element of the crime, beyond a reasonable doubt. The elements are:
- The defendant engaged in a financial transaction
- The transaction involved proceeds of certain crimes, which are known as “specified unlawful activities”
- The defendant intended to conceal the source of the funds when making the transaction
Common Defense Strategies
An experienced criminal defense attorney builds a strong defense by doing a thorough investigation and examining records, locating possible witnesses and identifying redeeming physical or digital evidence. Money laundering cases are extremely complex, which coincidentally creates many ways in that they can be challenged. A few of the most common defense strategies include:
- The source of the funds was not illegal
- The client did not have any knowledge that the money had an illegal source
- The money was not concealed
Often, the amount of money is disputed in these cases. If the government alleges that they can prove a certain amount of money was laundered, with the help of a forensic accountant, an attorney can attack the accountant’s opinion if it isn’t credible. For example, if the government claims that a few million dollars were laundered, but the number was actually in the tens of thousands, it can have a huge effect on the end result of the case.
Contact Us Today!
Are you facing money laundering charges? Contact our Boston criminal defense attorney at Brad Bailey Law today. Given how extreme the potential punishments are under federal law, it’s important that you hire legal representation as soon as possible. By working with a federal defense lawyer, you can help the chances of a better result for your case.
Call (617) 500-0252 or contact us online today!