Money laundering is a serious federal crime that could result in years in prison and hundreds of thousands in fines. Attorney Frank Schwartz has been defending clients in court for over 23 years, and he has taken more than 100 cases to federal and state courts. As a result, our firm has the professional experience and knowledge to strategize an effective defense against your money laundering charges. You can expect to work directly with Attorney Schwartz every step of the way, and we will do our best to argue for reduced or even dismissed charges.
What Is the Federal Crime of Money Laundering?
According to federal law, money laundering is the crime of disguising the source, amount, or destination of money obtained by illegal means, such as drug trafficking or fraud. This is commonly accomplished by performing several bank transfers or transactions with legal organizations.
The Money Laundering Control Act of 1986 makes money laundering a federal crime that can be punished with a substantial prison sentence, and the crime is governed under 18 U.S.C. § 1956 and 18 U.S.C. § 1957.
Under 18 U.S.C. § 1956, any person or business executive commits money laundering if they:
- intentionally and knowingly promote carrying on illegal activity (e.g., avoiding paying taxes); or
- they conceal the nature, ownership, location, source of the illegal funds; or
- they commit a variety of different acts, including conducting, or attempting to conduct, a financial transaction involving money they know was earned from unlawful activity.
Under 18 U.S.C. § 1957, any person or business executive commits money laundering when they knowingly engage in or attempt to engage in a monetary transaction in criminally derived property valued greater than $10,000.
Penalties Upon Conviction
Federal penalties are much severer than state-level penalties. The consequences of a money laundering offense will include incarceration, fines, restitution, asset forfeiture, and other civil penalties. In particular, a violation of § 1956 will generally lead to the following penalties:
- imprisonment for up to 20 years;
- up to $500,000 in fines or twice the value of the property involved in the offense, whichever is greater (financial institution and interstate or foreign transmission offenses); $250,000 in fines ($500,000 for an organization) or twice the amount involved, whichever is greater, for sting violations; possible additional civil penalty of up to $10,000 in fines or the value of the property involved;
- confiscation of property.
A violation of § 1957 will result in the following penalties:
- imprisonment for up to 10 years;
- a fine of the greater of $250,000 ($500,000 for an organization) or twice the amount involved in the transaction, as well as a civil penalty of up to the greater of $10,000 or the value of the property involved;
- confiscation of certain property.
If you have been charged with money laundering, it is critical that you enlist the legal guidance of an experienced defense attorney. Frank Schwartz, P.A. is deeply familiar with the federal court system and can effectively strategize your money laundering defense from beginning to end.
Schedule a free consultation with Frank Schwartz, P.A. online to get started on your defense.
Frank Schwartz is a Miami attorney who concentrates his legal practice in the area of criminal defense. Mr. Schwartz is proud to have established a highly successful and effective criminal defense trial practice in South Florida.