Money laundering charges may be attached to a scheme to cover up tax fraud, insurance fraud, Medicare fraud, mortgage fraud or some other activity. Acts that include concealing the true funds of money invested in a business or deposited into a bank account are examples of money laundering. Other examples include:
- Failing to report cash transactions over $10,000
- Structuring transactions to keep the amount just below federal reporting guidelines
- Drug dealing
- Tampering, smuggling, piracy and contraband
Why The Penalties Are Harsh?
The reason why the penalties are so harsh is because money laundering tends to be linked to international terrorism and other crimes that violate the federal laws that have been put in place to trace laundered money that makes its way into legitimate businesses.
The possible money laundering penalties can be quite harsh in that the prison time can be anywhere from 10 to 20 years. The amount of time sentenced depends upon the amount of money that is involved.
In addition, forfeiture charges tend to be brought against the defendant at the time the money laundering charges are brought. Forfeiture is the recouping of assets to compensate for the laundered proceeds. Clean money, real estate and other assets can be forfeited.
If an accusation of money laundering is made against you or you are being investigated, you need to seek accurate counsel and advice from a criminal defense attorney who knows his way around state and federal courthouses.