Most Americans have heard reference to money laundering in the news or while watching movies or popular television shows. However, most people do not know exactly what it is all about and how it is done. Basically, money laundering is trying to convert money that was obtained illegally into money that appears to be coming from legal activity. For example, someone making a lot of money by dealing drugs will buy a restaurant, nail salon, or perhaps a car wash and try to make it appear that the drug proceeds were in fact made while engaging in one of those legal businesses.
The taking of someone’s property by laws allow law enforcement agencies to confiscate property that they think have been used or involved in criminal activity. Law enforcement agencies claim this is a good tool that helps them fight organized crime, drug dealers, and other criminals. Sounds like a good idea, right? Well, maybe not. Let’s look at the other side of the story before we decide.
Why Go Through All That Trouble?
Most Americans earn enough from working to pay for basic needs and perhaps a little more. However, most of us cannot afford unlimited luxuries, expensive cars, and frequent vacations. If you are an assistant manager at the local fast food place and show up to work driving a Lotus and proceed to give jewelry to your coworkers, you may get more attention than you want. How about suddenly depositing tens of thousands of dollars into your bank account? Also, not a good idea and likely to raise a red flag. Our friends at the Internal Revenue Service will begin to wonder where the money for your newfound wealth and generosity came from. Hence, money laundering was born.
The Severity of Money Laundering
Money Laundering is illegal throughout the country but is not usually a stand-alone charge under the law. A person or group charged with money laundering will almost always also be charged with a crime that related to how that got the money. For example, the person will be charged with dealing illegal drugs and money laundering. Money laundering is a very serious charge under both state and federal laws and anyone involved in the money laundering process, even a small amount, can be prosecuted under those laws. The government does not have to show that you ever actually handled any of the money that was illegally obtained. Under federal laws, a person can be sentenced for up to 20 years in prison for being convicted of money laundering.
Consult a Defense Attorney at Piotrowski Law
Of course, to be convicted of money laundering a person must be aware that an illegal money laundering scheme was being carried out and they must have participated in some way in the process. Piotrowski Law has defense attorneys who can help. If you have been charged with a money laundering related crime, you need to contact one of the experienced defense attorneys at Piotrowski Law as soon as possible, without delay. Piotrowski Law knows the ins and outs of these complex laws. One of our criminal defense attorneys will help you sort through the plethora of factors that need to be reviewed and help you fight your case. Call today at 305-204-5000 for a free consultation