Federal Crimes Blog

Federal Criminal Money Laundering Charges

Posted by Hedding Law Firm | Oct 16, 2019

What most people don't realize is that a federal criminal money laundering case can take many different forms and it's a bit confusing because you look at the law on this subject and a lot of these websites are just spouting off a bunch of law without giving any explanation — without breathing any life into the subject matter — because people sometimes when they get arrested or indicted for money laundering they can't even figure out what they've done wrong.

Illegally Obtained Money or Credit Line

The issues is, you basically have proceeds or money or a credit line — whatever the case may be — something of value or benefit, and it's illegally obtained.  That's the first thing the government has to prove.  Where did you get those funds?  Where did you get that money?  Is it lawfully obtained?

Because if it's lawfully obtained, then what's the issue or problem.  So, the first thing they have to prove in order to get you for a money laundering case at the federal level is that whatever money, funds or credit line is illegally obtained.

Once they prove that, now they have to show — just so you understand the concept — you're basically trying to clean that money.  In other words, let's say that someone's got a huge drug enterprise and they're making thousands of dollars in that enterprise.

Now, they want to inject that money into a business so they start putting the money into the business.  They start running the money either through the business's financial accounts or into the business itself and then they're now taking out money from the business or building the business up with ill-gotten gains.

Attempting to “Clean” Money Through Business Account

That's money laundering.  That's someone who is taking funds from an illegal enterprise and then they're putting that money into a business account and trying to clean it.  This is probably one of the most simplistic examples.

federal money laundering charges 18 U.S.C. 1956

That's not the only example.  There's all kinds of examples of money being moved through an account and it's also at the international level where people are moving money.  It's at the domestic level and in both of these scenarios, someone can be charged with federal money laundering.

So, if you have a scenario where you're being charged with federal money laundering and you can't even figure out what you've done wrong, you have to get to a federal criminal defense attorney immediately.

Because sometimes the reason you can't figure out what you've done wrong is because you haven't done anything wrong.  If that's that circumstance — if the money you're receiving is not illegally obtained — that would be the first form of defense in order to block a federal money laundering allegation.

So, start with the end in mind.  Start with either I did something wrong and I need to figure out how I can fix that; or, I didn't do anything wrong and I need to figure out how I can prove that.  And you have to huddle up with your attorney.

You have to give him your version of events because sometimes law enforcement doesn't take the time to get your version of events and once your version of events is out there, now you're in a position to be able to win your case.

Sometimes in a money laundering case, getting your version of events gives you the ability to mitigate things — to lessen the charges.  Sometimes you can negotiate with the government on different levels that you wouldn't have even thought of once you get a good attorney involved who knows your story and can begin the process of helping you get the result you must have.

Hedding Law Firm
16000 Ventura Blvd #1208
Encino, CA 91436

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