Over the last few years, money laundering has become a pesky business. People who have acquired money illegally are going through all the ropes to make sure the money appears legal. Every year, the IMF accounts for billions of laundered money. Basically, money laundering happens whenever an individual attempts to or actually conceals the source, final destination and the identity of money that has been acquired illegally. This behavior has been criminalized under both federal and state laws. Before hiring a money laundering barrister, here are a few things you need to know about money laundering.
Concealing Or Spending
As mentioned above, money laundering refers to when a person conceals funds that have been obtained illegally. However, this doesnt cover spending that money. Of course, once you have spent the money, there is always the crime of dealing with stolen goods. If money laundering is to be identified, you would have to hide the origin of the money or where its kept.
In order for an individual to be convicted of money laundering, the prosecution must show evidence that supports that he/she has concealed the current location of the money, the source, control, ownership and overall nature of the money. Of course, if you’re transporting money and conceal it in a hidden place for safety, that doesn’t fall under money laundering. However, if you went further as to make the money appear as legitimate when it’s actually not, that falls under money laundering.
Of course, money that is acquired from a criminal activity can’t be referred to as laundered under the federal regulations. For instance, people who run illegal lotteries and collect money from the players to pay the winners, can’t be accused of money laundering. However, if you try to hide the source of the money or the profits acquired from the illegal activity, that’s where money laundering can be mentioned.
Courts have ruled that there should be some sort of illegal activity involved in acquiring profits before any money can be deemed to be laundered. For instance, if you sell your car, get some money from it and hide the money from the tax authorities, you haven’t committed any laundering. Of course, you’re in violation of the tax laws in your country but there is no money laundering of any sort.
Money Laundering Penalties
Different laws from different countries have a significant difference in the penalties awarded for money laundering. However, all the penalties boil down to fines, probation, prison or an overall combination of all these penalties. As for prison, money laundering is not a felony offense but you might be charged with some misdemeanor charges. Fines for money laundering activity can be very steep and as for probation, you’re supposed to meet some conditions set out by the court.
The need for a money laundering barrister in these situations can’t be underestimated. He/she can negotiate a lesser penalty including less prison time or just probation instead of prison. Therefore, take your time to choose the best barrister for any money laundering charges.