Money laundering cases can be extremely complicated—with a large amount of accounting, banking, and other financial tracking evidence at issue. Furthermore, if you are under investigation for money laundering, it is possible that there may be underlying or accompanying charges. A Virginia federal money laundering lawyer with our firm could provide help to protect your legal rights and interests. Call today to speak with an experienced federal criminal defense attorney.
When it comes to federal charges, there are a couple of important things to keep in mind. First, these types of charges are prosecuted in the federal court system (as opposed to in-state courts), and second, the people who prosecute these cases are generally highly experienced prosecutors working with evidence gathered through well-funded federal agencies. Furthermore, these federal prosecutors have likely tried many similar cases in the past.
In light of these facts, it becomes clear why an individual charged with money laundering should seek out an experienced Virginia federal defense lawyer. It is important to work with someone who understands how to defend people against federal prosecution and who understands the nuances of the federal court where your case is being heard.
Money laundering is a type of white-collar crime—a financially motivated, nonviolent act. Specifically, money laundering is the act of disguising “dirty money” and using legitimate financial channels to convert it into “clean money.” Dirty money involves funds received as the result of an unlawful activity; conversely, clean money is earned via a lawful enterprise. If federal authorities believe that certain funds came from illegal acts, they may attempt to tax or altogether seize those funds. For this reason, and to avoid prosecution in general, people in the past have attempted to launder money to conceal an unlawful source. Such unlawful sources may range from drug deals to terrorist activities.
However, it is crucial to remember that many people have been wrongfully accused of money laundering in the past. Sometimes it has been demonstrated that the funds involved were rightfully obtained, and sometimes it has been proven that certain alleged acts of money laundering were the results of a simple mistake. In an age of electronic money transfers and computerized banking, there is a great deal of room for error, and it is important to work with a federal money laundering lawyer in Virginia who understands where these mistakes can be made and, correspondingly, how to establish reasonable doubt.
Money laundering investigations can be lengthy and complex. If you believe that you are under investigation for money laundering on the federal level, you should always consult with a seasoned lawyer in Virginia as soon as possible. Even if you have not yet been arrested or charged, having quality representation can be very helpful during an investigation.
The federal law (18 U.S. Code Section 1956) prohibits any attempt at a financial transaction to conceal the source or nature of proceeds from unlawful activities. Such activities commonly include the following:
As your VA federal money laundering attorney could explain, “proceeds” not only refer to direct money profits from the illegal activity, but can also refer to any property of value obtained indirectly or directly from such activity.
Federal money laundering convictions under 18 U.S. Code 1956 carry severe potential penalties. For example, under the statute, a federal court could sentence an individual who has been convicted of committing (or aiding in) money laundering to the following:
These penalties are in addition to any penalties for the underlying alleged criminal activity. Additionally, penalties will be more severe for individuals convicted of multiple counts or repeat offenses. Furthermore, as part of more aggressive anti-terrorism efforts in recent years, additional prison time may be sentenced for acts of money laundering that are found to have arisen from any terrorism-related activity.
It is imperative that you find a lawyer who knows how to refute the evidence that may be presented against you by federal prosecutors. The defense lawyers at our firm provide aggressive representation for our clients in federal money-laundering cases.
Contact a Virginia federal money laundering attorney from our firm today to explain your case so that we have the opportunity to begin taking the first important steps involved in your defense process.