Coral Gables Money Laundering Attorney
Money laundering is a white collar criminal offense in which the offender uses different techniques to mask the fact that the money came from illegal activity. There are many different ways to launder money and these cases are often very complicated and can involve several different parties and many different kinds of evidence. Federal money laundering laws provide for very harsh penalties, especially in cases involving large sums of money or complex money laundering schemes that took place over a long period of time. Anyone who is being questioned or who has been arrested on suspicion of federal money laundering should contact an experienced Coral Gables money laundering attorney as soon as possible.
Money laundering is considered to be a nonviolent offense with financial motivations. Simply because it is considered to be nonviolent does not mean that the penalties are not serious, as individuals convicted of money laundering likely face felony charges and a significant jail sentence if convicted. Anyone who is under investigation for money laundering or has already been placed under arrest should contact an experienced Florida money laundering attorney as soon as possible.
What is money laundering?
Specifically, you may find yourself facing money laundering charges under Florida law if a prosecutor believes you are trying to conceal the proceeds of another type of illegal activity. For example, many money laundering cases allegedly involve the profits made from one or more of the following:
- Financial fraud
- Extortion or blackmail
- Drug trafficking or sales
- Human trafficking
- Organized crime
Once an individual has the proceeds of any illegal activity, they will need to conceal the source of the money in a way that it will not raise suspicion of authorities. Money launderers often use offshore accounts, false businesses, cash dealings, deposits into legitimate financial institutions, and more to “launder” money from dirty sources.
Money laundering cases often involve significant investigation into the possible sources of funds used in suspicious transactions. During this investigation, authorities and prosecutors will be searching for any type of evidence to use against you. An experienced defense attorney can help during the investigation–even before you are arrested–to make sure that law enforcement officers are not violating any of your constitutional rights and to communicate with authorities on your behalf to avoid any unintentionally incriminating statements.
Penalties for money laundering can be serious
If you are charged with money laundering, the potential penalties you face will depend largely on the amount of money the prosecutor claims that you laundered. Some possible penalties are as follows:
|Amount of Money||Charge||Maximum Prison Sentence|
|$301 to $19,999||3rd degree felony||Five years|
|$20,000 to $99,999||2nd degree felony||15 years|
|$100,000 and up||1st degree felony||30 years|
These penalties can also be in addition to any you face for an underlying criminal case. If the prosecutor believes you obtained the money through a drug operation, your prison sentence for money laundering may be on top off any sentence for drug trafficking. In this type of situation, you want a defense lawyer who knows how to successfully defend against not only the money laundering charge but also any accompanying charges you face, as well.
Penalties for money laundering under federal law
Though white collar crimes do not cause bodily injury to another person, these crimes can cause financial ruin for victims and are, therefore, punished severely by federal law. Individuals convicted of money laundering in federal court can face the following consequences and more:
- A fine up to $500,000 or two times the value of the money allegedly involved in the scheme; and/or
- Up to 20 years in federal prison.
These charges and penalties will be in addition to any charges stemming from the illegal activity that made the money laundering necessary. For example, if a member of a drug cartel tried to conceal dirty money, they may face money laundering charges as well as drug trafficking charges.
Defenses against money laundering
An experienced defense attorney has several different ways to defend against your charges, depending on the circumstances of your case. Some common defense include as follows:
- Insufficient evidence — In order to convict of money laundering, a prosecutor must present adequate evidence to prove both that you had an intent to launder money and that the money came from an underlying crime. A defense lawyer can attack the sufficiency of the evidence to claim that these elements have not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Duress — If another person threatened harm to you or your family if you did not conceal the origin of money for them, you can claim that you only committed the offense due to duress.
- No intention to commit a crime — Accountants or other financial professionals may not even realize that the transactions they are performing constitute money laundering. If you are not aware that you are committing a crime, the prosecutor will not meet the “intent” requirement.
Call the law firm of Alfredo Izaguirre for help with your Coral Gables money laundering case today
If you are under investigation for money laundering or have been arrested by federal authorities, your first call should be to the law office of experienced Coral Gables money laundering attorney Alfredo A. Izaguirre to discuss how he can help you. Money laundering cases can be highly complicated with many different types of allegations and evidence, so you need an attorney who can handle cases with such complexities. We strive for the best possible results in every individual case, so please call our office at 305-442-0425 for assistance today.