Atlanta Money Laundering Lawyers
Attacking Money Laundering Accusations
Money laundering is a white collar crime investigated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Because the offense promotes and furthers criminal activity, the federal government harshly prosecutes these cases and imposes severe penalties upon a conviction. Money laundering cases can be extremely complicated; they often involve a series of financial transactions and stacks of record-keeping documents. As such, a person involved in a legitimate business and who makes frequent or large transactions may find themselves investigated for money laundering. If you have been accused of this offense, it is critical that you retain legal representation right away. The complexities of these cases demand a thorough review and analysis of the evidence, which can take a considerable amount of time.
At The Abt Law Firm, LLC, our Atlanta money laundering attorneys are ready to do what it takes to defend you. Our team has extensive experience handling tough cases, and we can leverage our resources, knowledge, and skills to build and present compelling cases for our clients. When you turn to us, you will have a dedicated and compassionate attorney on your side fighting to protect your rights, freedom, and future.
We are prepared to seek a favorable result for you. Schedule a free initial consultation by contacting us at (678) 582-2272 today.
What Is Money Laundering?
In simple terms, money laundering involves making "dirty" money appear "clean" – hence the term "laundering." "Dirty" money refers to proceeds acquired through illegal activity, and "clean" money is that which was legitimately obtained.
People involved in or associated with criminal enterprises or criminal conduct engage in money laundering to conceal the nature or source of illicit proceeds. Often, this is done to continue funding the illegal activity.
What Are the Processes Involved in Money Laundering?
As mentioned before, money laundering is a complex crime. This is because to "clean" money, individuals must go through a series of steps.
Money laundering processes include the following:
- Placement: The first stage involves placing ill-gotten proceeds into the financial system. Placement is accomplished by depositing funds into financial institutions. Typically, individuals will make small deposits across multiple accounts or financial institutions to avoid reporting requirements and raising suspicion.
- Layering: The next step is blending illegal money with legitimate funds. Usually, this involves various transactions leaving a complicated paper trail.
- Integration: Lastly, the illicit proceeds are integrated back into the system. The money is typically withdrawn from the financial institution and used for high-dollar purchases.
Our money laundering lawyers in Atlanta will pour through your financial transactions and business records to determine what defenses can be raised in your case. Reach out to us to get started.
What Is the Federal Money Laundering Law?
The federal government has two separate laws concerning money laundering: 18 U.S.C. § 1956 and 18 U.S.C. § 1957.
Under 18 U.S.C. § 1956, a person commits money laundering if they conduct or attempt to conduct a financial transaction involving illegally obtained funds.
A financial transaction is defined as one that:
- Affects interstate or foreign commerce;
- Moves money by wire or other means;
- Involves one or more monetary instruments;
- Involves the transfer of a title of real property, cars, boats, or aircraft; or
- Involves the use of a financial institution that affects interstate or foreign commerce.
Money laundering charges can also arise when someone transmits or transfers illegally obtained funds to or from the U.S.
For a federal prosecutor to prove that a defendant laundered money, they must show that the individual:
- Knew the funds were illegally obtained (although the prosecutor does not have to prove that the defendant knew the exact nature of the underlying offense), and
- Intended to promote unlawful activity,
- Intended to commit tax evasion or tax fraud,
- Knew the purpose of the transaction was to hide ill-gotten proceeds, and/or
- Knew the transaction was done to avoid reporting requirements.
Whereas 18 U.S.C. § 1956 is concerned with financial transactions, 18 U.S.C. § 1957 is concerned with monetary transactions involving illegally obtained proceeds over $10,000. Section 1957 essentially prohibits spending or depositing "dirty" money.
Monetary transactions include:
- Transfers, and
Regardless of the law you were accused of violating, it is imperative that you start crafting your defense right away. Federal investigators and prosecutors will have spent a considerable amount of time investigating and will likely have built a solid case against you. At The Abt Law Firm, LLC, our Atlanta money laundering attorneys will conduct our own investigation to defend your innocence.
How Can You Show that Money Was Not Laundered?
Several defenses can be mounted in a money laundering case. One way to challenge accusations is to show that the proceeds were not obtained from criminal activity specified under 18 U.S.C. § 1956(c)(7) or 18 U.S.C. § 1961 (RICO).
Offenses defined under these sections include, but are not limited to:
- Drug trafficking
Another way to counter money laundering allegations is to demonstrate that the defendant did not know they were dealing with illegally obtained funds or lacked intent to promote criminal activity, engage in tax fraud or evasion, conceal ill-gotten proceeds, or avoid reporting requirements.
Our team believes in open and transparent communication. Once our money laundering lawyers in Atlanta evaluate your case, we can have an honest discussion about your legal options and possible outcomes. Speak with us today.
How Many Years Can You Get for Laundering Money?
Money laundering is a serious offense and can result in severe conviction penalties. The length of the prison sentence and the amount of the fine depends on the conduct involved in the offense.
Engaging in an unlawful financial transaction or transmitting illegal proceeds across country borders is punishable by:
- Up to 20 years of imprisonment and/or
- Up to $500,000 in fines or twice the amount of the proceeds involved
Making a monetary transaction with ill-gotten funds is punishable by:
- Up to 10 years of imprisonment and/or
- A fine
Note that money laundering is typically associated with other offenses, such as robbery or drug trafficking. Thus, if the defendant played a role in carrying out the underlying crime, they also face separate conviction penalties for that offense.
An aggressive defense can help you seek to avoid or minimize criminal sanctions. Our Atlanta money laundering lawyers can deliver the sound counsel you need throughout your case.
Retain the Services of a Skilled Money Laundering Attorney
At The Abt Law Firm, LLC, we are ready to jump into action on your case. We recognize what is at stake for you and are prepared to go up against even the most formidable opponents on your behalf.
To learn more about how we can help, contact us at (678) 582-2272.