When money is acquired from criminal activity, including illegal gambling or drug trafficking, the money is deemed "dirty" since directly depositing the funds into a bank or other financial institution will raise suspicion from state and federal law enforcement. However, the money can be "cleaned" by allocating in through various legitimate businesses prior to depositing it, resulting in "money laundering." It is most often considered a federal crime.
Methods of money laundering include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Shell companies used to disguise the rightful owner or party of large amounts of illegal money
- Structuring or “smurfing” is when the money is divided into smaller amounts to avoid suspicion when using the money to purchase goods
- Bulk cash smuggling is when money is transferred into an offshore bank account of another country that keeps the client’s information a secret
- Bank capture is when criminals own a bank or financial institution to transfer money
At Jason D. Lamm Attorney at Law, our Phoenix criminal defense attorney is qualified and committed to handle money laundering cases. As a former major felony prosecutor, he possesses the extensive knowledge of the state and federal legal system to provide his clients insight from a plethora of sources.
Money Laundering Penalties
Depending on an individual’s role in the alleged money laundering scheme, the crime may be classified as a Class 2, Class 3, or Class 6 felony. Money laundering in the first degree is punishable by a prison sentence of four to 10 years. A third-degree charge, the lowest level money laundering offense, is punishable by a prison sentence between six months and one and a half years. If the crime resulted in obtaining a total of $100,000 or more in any 12 month period, the prosecution may also attempt to seize assets three times the amount which was involved in the alleged scheme.
25+ Years’ Experience On Your Side
If you or a loved one has been arrested for money laundering, we can conduct our own thorough investigation into the crime itself and gather the necessary evidence to get your charges reduced or even completely dismissed. Our white collar crime defense firm serves clients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Glendale, Mesa, and Chandler.
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