Money Laundering is a serious felony charge. Anyone facing money laundering charges should immediately contact an attorney. Money laundering penalties are harsh and include hefty fines and substantial prison sentences. Federal prosecutors vigorously investigate and prosecute money laundering charges under 18 USC §1956. Convictions for money laundering can carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Money laundering charges often times are accompanied by other serious charges such as racketeering (RICO) and drug conspiracy charges.
In Florida, money laundering charges can be based on transactions for as little as more than $300 in a 12- month period under Chapter 896. Transactions exceeding $300, but less than $20,000 are third degree felonies and are punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Transactions in the range of more than $20,000, but less than $100,000 are second degree felonies punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Transactions of more than $100,000 are first degree felonies punishable by up to a 30 -year sentence. Given the harsh penalties for money laundering, it is in your best interest to get an attorney as soon as possible.
But what exactly is money laundering? Simply put, money laundering occurs when “dirty” money that is generated from illegal activity such as the sale of drugs is funneled through a legitimate business or bank to make the origin of the proceeds appear “clean.” Money laundering is an effort to hide or disguise the origin, ownership, nature, location or control of unlawfully generated money. A key element of money laundering is “knowledge” that the money was derived from criminal activity. The elements of the crime of money laundering generally require:
(1) knowingly engaging in a financial transaction;
(2) with the proceeds of a crime;
(3) for the purpose of concealing or disguising the illicit origin of the property from the government.
If you have been accused of or are being investigated for money laundering, the attorneys at Franco Law Firm will vigilantly and vigorously defend your rights.