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Maryland Federal Money Laundering Penalties 

Most often, money laundering is charged as a criminal enterprise. For example, there is an investigation into a large-scale racketeering or drug enterprise where multiple people are doing drug deals that involve money.

In addition to prosecuting the individuals involved in the drug scheme for the actual drug crimes, the government tracks down the money and prosecutes the individuals involved in processing the funds in an attempt to hide the fact that they came from drug activity. Make sure you are prepared with what your options are by contacting an experienced attorney today.

How Fraud Occurs

People involved in fraud or other illegal activities try to disguise the origins of the money they obtained illegally. They purchase real estate or invest in a front company to make it look like the proceeds are profits for that company when they are not. The government goes after all of those activities, and the penalties of federal money laundering in Maryland are severe.

Penalties Associated with Money Laundering

When someone is convicted of a federal offense, like a federal money laundering, the penalties are subject to the federal sentencing guidelines. The maximum penalty for money laundering is 20 years of imprisonment under one of the statutes and the other major statute is 10 years. There are serious fines of $500,000 as well as the freezing and forfeiting of assets tied to the money laundering.

How Penalties Are Determined

When penalties are determined for a federal money laundering conviction in Maryland, the person’s prior criminal history and the amount of money involved in the offense are major factors. The individual’s role in any scheme is taken into consideration. When more than one person is involved, the question is whether the person is one of the leaders or had a smaller role in the enterprise. Leaders face more serious consequences. There are many facts about a particular case that influence and determine the specific punishment.

Likelihood of Receiving Maximum Sentence

Generally, an individual is not likely to receive the maximum sentence as a Maryland federal money laundering penalty. However, a person could face the maximum sentence when it involves a large money laundering scheme and is tied to large criminal activity. When the individual has an extensive criminal record, there is a possibility that the court could give the maximum penalty. For a first time offense, it is rare that a person convicted of a non-violent crime receives a maximum sentence. However, the specific facts of the case and the criminal history of the person determine the severity of the punishment.

What the Prosecution Needs to Prove

In a Maryland federal money laundering case, the prosecution must prove that there was a financial transaction to establish penalties. A person cannot be prosecuted for money laundering when they make a lot of cash from an illegal activity and put the cash inside a safe in a house. That is not money laundering.

The prosecution needs to prove that there was a transaction and the purpose of the transaction was to cover up the fact that the money was derived from illegal activity. They must prove that illegal activities generated the money and the money is directly tied to illegal activity. They must show that the money was involved in a transaction where the individual’s intent was to disguise the source of money. A money laundering charge has multiple steps that need to be proven in order for a person to be convicted.