Federal Money Laundering Charges and Penalties

In general, money laundering incorporates financial transactions where someone involved in criminal activity is trying to disguise the proceeds, the sources, or the nature of the illicit activities attempts to transfer money and hide the fact that the money was acquired using criminal means. If you are accused of money laundering you are likely facing serious consequences and should consult with a DC federal money laundering attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case.

Are There Different Types Of Money Laundering Offenses That An Individual Can Be Charged With?

Under the federal code, there are two specific sub-sections that address money laundering. The first is where a person is engaging in some kind of financial transaction where the proceeds came from certain specific crimes. These types of money laundering charges cover situations where an individual specifically was making a transaction to conceal the source or the ownership of certain funds. In that type of situation, if the government can prove that the person engaged in that financial transaction knowing that the money in question involved criminal gains and was trying to disguise or hide the source of the money, that person could be convicted and sentenced to up to twenty years in prison and face a fine of up to $500,000 or twice the amount of the ill-gotten gains involved.

Another sub-section of that law prohibits spending more than $10,000 that was derived from a criminal activity, and it doesn’t require that the person was trying to disguise it. In other words, when more than $10,000 of criminally-obtained funds are involved, the government doesn’t have to prove that the person actually was trying to conceal it, but that the person was actually taking money that came from criminal activity and was spending more than $10,000 at a time of it. In a situation like that, the government can seek to have a penalty of up to ten years in prison.

Accompanying Charges

In any money laundering case if there’s more than one individual involved, it can be expected that the government will also seek conspiracy charges. The government very well may bring money laundering charges in addition to charges for the actual underlying criminal conduct. It’s very common for a money laundering case to spring up from the investigation the government conducted in response to the underlying criminal conduct—for example, health care fraud or drug distribution.

Other charges commonly include mail and wire fraud charges that arise when the individual is accused of transmitting the money information fraudulently across state lines or using electronic devices. And so, it’s very common in a money laundering case to have a money laundering charge just be one of many different types of charges involved in that case.

Is An Individual Likely To Receive The Maximum Sentence?

Not necessarily. This is where good lawyering comes into play. Even if an individual is convicted of a money laundering charge, the court will take into account many different factors about that individual and about the conduct in the case to determine what the appropriate sentence is. An experienced federal defense attorney can present as much relevant and good information about his client in an effort to convince the court that any sort of maximum sentence simply would be too much in that particular case.