The definition of money laundering is when a person, persons or entity hides or conceals money or other valuables the source of which usually originates from illegal activities. Also, the proceeds of money laundering can be legally obtained money where an individual or a company failed to report the money as income on their federal tax return. Generally speaking, money laundering charges are brought against individuals or business entities when the source of the funds relates to illegal activities such as narco-trafficking, public corruption, smuggling, white collar crimes such as wire fraud, bank fraud, mail fraud, racketeering, illegal firearms trafficking, counterfeiting and even terrorism activities. Money laundering charges are an additional tool for Assistant U.S. Attorneys to use when charging individuals for a predicate criminal offense in most cases.
The penalties for money laundering are extremely severe carrying a sentence of 20 years in federal prison plus a fine of up to $500,000 or twice the value of the money-laundering transaction for each count (act of money-laundering). It is important to contact an experienced attorney who has dealt with federal prosecutions, in particular, those relating to money-laundering charges. In most instances where federal money-laundering charges are brought against a defendant it is essential for the accused to have an aggressive attorney advocate who knows how to negotiate with Assistant U.S. Attorneys. Often, a plea bargain wherein the defendant provides his cooperation is the best alternative to be obtained for the accused in these kinds of cases due to the numerous charges they are facing. In many instances, in addition to the predicate criminal case being charged such as narco-trafficking or white collar crime offenses, other additional criminal charges are brought by federal prosecutors such as conspiracy, tax evasion and money laundering which provides the government with leverage to obtain a guilty plea for at least some of the charges.
In some cases, however, it is possible to proceed to trial in order to seek an acquittal of all charges against a defendant including money-laundering counts. Once again, it is important to contact an experienced attorney who can provide the advice needed by an accused in order to make a decision as to whether it will be worth the risk for him or her to proceed to trial because if convicted, federal prosecutors nearly always seek maximum penalties for the charges resulting in a guilty verdict.
If an accused individual contacts an experienced attorney early on in federal criminal cases it is sometimes possible for such a person to become an unindicted co-conspirator if they are willing to testify against other individuals also accused and involved in the same criminal activity. There are numerous decisions that have to be made by an accused after consulting with his attorney that can radically change the outcome of the case where an individual or a firm has been accused of a federal crime. It could mean the difference of many years in federal prison. If you have been interviewed by the FBI, DEA, Secret Service, ICE or any other federal law enforcement agency, please feel free to discuss your case with our firm as soon as possible so that you can obtain advice on what your best options may be in terms of a possible forthcoming federal indictment and subsequent arrest. Our initial consultation is free of charge so please call our toll-free number (800) 516-0005 to speak with an attorney from our firm regarding your case. Our goal is to aggressively represent every accused person within the bounds of the law in order to obtain the best possible result for our clients.