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What is money laundering?

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Money laundering is a crime, as it typically involves money that has been obtained illegally. This means that the act of laundering that money could result in criminal charges, as could the original activity that led to the income in the first place.

Essentially, money laundering is the process of trying to disguise the origin of those funds. This is done in an effort to make the funds appear to have been legally obtained.

Why is this important?

Imagine that someone is involved in a scheme to traffic and sell illegal drugs. While doing so, they earn $100,000.

If that person simply took $100,000 to the bank and deposited it, that would raise a lot of questions about where the money came from. The IRS may have questions about what taxes need to be paid. This would expose the fact that the money came from drug trafficking.

As a result, the person may open a shell business and then slowly siphon the money through the business. They invent pretend transactions or inflate those costs to make it look like the business is earning more money than it actually is. The goal is simply to make it appear that the business earned the $100,000, disguising the money so that the authorities won’t ask so many questions.

Your legal options

A case like this is likely going to be highly complicated, especially because it deals with significant financial records and other technical information. If you are facing criminal charges, it’s critical that you understand all of the legal defense options you have.