While most people have heard of money laundering, it is actually a fairly new offense that came into being less than four decades ago. Money laundering became illegal under federal law in 1986 when the Congressional Comprehensive Crime Control Act went into effect. Individuals who commit money laundering could find themselves facing severe federal charges. Because money laundering is frequently part of a greater criminal offense, such as drug trafficking or corporate fraud, suspected offenders are often aggressively prosecuted in federal court.
What is Money Laundering?
The criminal act of money laundering is committed whenever funds from illegal activity are received, transferred, or invested. Contrary to what most people believe, the money or goods obtained from illegal activity do not have to be converted into other forms of assets in order to constitute money laundering. If an individual is involved in drug trafficking, for example, and accepts money in exchange for selling drugs, the simple act of receiving money for the illegal sale of drugs is considered money laundering.
Examples of Laundering
An individual may commit an act of money laundering whenever he or she completes any sort of financial transaction involving illegally obtained money. Some examples of criminal activities that frequently involve money laundering include:
- Drug or human trafficking
- Financial or medical fraud
- Blackmail or extortion
If you have been charged with money laundering, you are likely facing a number of criminal charges and will face an aggressive prosecution in court. A criminal defense lawyer can assist you in preparing your defense for court and will fight to protect your rights and your reputation.
To learn more about federal criminal charges and preparing your defense, please contact the criminal attorneys.