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Money Laundering Lawyers

In the state of New York, there are financial transactions designed to make funds obtained through criminal activities appear legal. This is known as money laundering. It is often connected to racketeering or organized crime operations. The goal of money laundering is to keep the source, location as well as actual ownership of funds obtained from criminal activities hidden. This money will have the appearance of being legitimate. Money that is laundered is usually reported to the government for tax purposes.

Money Laundering
A person can be charged with money laundering if it can be proven they knew the funds involved in financial transactions were the proceeds from criminal activities. They can be found guilty if it is proven they also knowingly conducted one or more financial transactions designed to hide the location, source as well as nature and ownership of proceeds obtained from criminal activities.

Financial Transactions
Money laundering can cover various financial transactions. This could include loans, wire transfers, currency exchanges, sales, payments, transfer of titles, extensions of credit and more. Money laundering transactions have taken place through or by various types of financial institutions. This includes a broker, bank, travel agency, loan company, credit unions and more. It could also involve any company engaging is qualified financial transactions with the intent of laundering money from illegal activities.

Three Phases
Money laundering schemes in New York usually have three phases involved with them. They are integration, placement as well as layering. A successful money laundering operation will often create legally established companies that are anonymous. They will then utilize fake export invoices or other types of financial transactions that may list the value of goods or services as far more than their actual value. These anonymous companies make it possible to transfer funds from one country to another. Money from a criminal business can then be moved to a legal company for distribution. The goal of a prosecutor will be to seize fake invoices and other documents so they can be used to confirm where the illegal money originated.

Punishment
In New York, the amount of money laundered will determine a person’s punishment upon conviction. Punishments can be increased if the money laundering activities involved organized crime or international terrorism and more. Court fines for money laundering can’t exceed more than twice the value of the financial transactions that were the basis for the charge of money laundering.

*4th Degree Money Laundering – This involves amounts over $5,000. It is designated as a Class E felony. A conviction could result in being incarcerated up to four years.
*3rd Degree Money Laundering – This involves amounts over $50,000. It is designated as a Class D felony. A conviction could result in being incarcerated for up to seven years.
*2nd Degree Money Laundering – This involves amounts over $100,000. It is designated as a Class C felony. A conviction could result in being incarcerated for up to 15 years.
*1st Degree Money Laundering – This involves amounts over $1 million. It is designated as a Class B felony. A conviction could result in being incarcerated for up to 25 years.

Legal Defenses
A person charged with money laundering should discuss their situation with an experienced attorney. They will be able to analyze the facts of a case and determine the best legal defense. It may be possible for an attorney to prove their client did not know the nature of the funds they handled. This will prove there was no knowledge the funds were from criminal activity. It may also be to be proven a defendant did not have the intent to engage or support criminal behavior. They lack intent when it comes to handling illegal funds. An attorney may also be able to show entrapment of their client. This is when the actions of undercover law enforcement can be shown to have been so strong, a defendant felt forced to participate in actions associated with money laundering and more.

In New York, an arrest of money laundering is a serious matter. A person facing this needs to speak with an experienced attorney. This is a crime associated with many different criminal acts involving finance. An attorney will know how to analyze the facts and determine the most effective defense. They can protect their client’s rights during the legal process and work toward obtaining the best possible result.

by Leonard on Spodek Law Group
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