Money laundering is often associated with international terrorism and organized crime. The concealment of “dirty money” is a serious criminal offense with severe penalties. The act of laundering money is defined as disguising how money was illegally obtained by making it appear as if it came from a different source. If you are accused of money laundering in New York, it is important to understand the charges, penalties, and case process associated with this crime.
Money Laundering Law in New York
Under the Money Laundering Control Act of 1986, all charges regarding this offense receive the same scrutiny under the law. The way these crimes are prosecuted is up to the discretion of the lead prosecutor.
What is Money Laundering?
Money laundering is defined as financial gains from criminal acts that are made to look like legitimate finances. This crime can be associated with cash or other assets including credit/debit cards, digital currencies, and securities.
Phases of Money Laundering
In general, there are three stages associated with the disguising of illegal income; placement, layering, and integration. Usually, money launderers create anonymous companies in a particular country and then send false invoices overvaluing goods to facilitate the transfer of money from one country to the next. These fake invoices are used to verify the origin of the illegally obtained money.
Money Laundering Placement:
The first stage of the process is placement. Placing money earned from illegal activities in a financial system is placement. Usually, this money is banked by a legitimate business and eventually stirred into a legitimate businesses income.
Money Laundering Layering:
The second stage of money laundering is known as layering. To conceal sources of illegal finances, several layers are created to make the money harder to trace. One common way this is accomplished is through transfers. Usually, this is done via a wire transfer or electronic fund transfer to and from shell businesses. With over 500,000 EFTs a day, money moved this way can be extremely hard to trace.
Money Laundering Integration:
Lastly, laundered money in is integrated into a legitimate financial system and mixed in with other assets. By mixing illegally obtained money in with legitimate money, the laundered money can appear to have been legally earned.
Money Laundering Laws
In New York, money laundering is classified differently depending on the total of the transaction. Charges can vary from a first-degree felony to a fourth-degree felony and depend on whether the total of the transaction was over $5,000, $50,000, $100,000, or $1M. Under NY law, additional penalties can be enforced if the illegal finances were obtained to support terrorism or were generated from drug trafficking.
Federal Money Laundering Laws
The IRS has legal jurisdiction over criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code. Under the law, the IRS considers gross income as any income from any source. In previous money laundering cases, courts have upheld the Internal Revenue Code statue’s ability to include money earned from illegal activities as money that must be reported to the IRS as income. Under the IRC, individuals must report income more than $10,000. The USA Patriot Act grants the IRS and Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network the jurisdiction to investigate any criminal act that violates the anti-money laundering statutes.
Money Laundering Penalties in New York
Money laundering convictions come with serious consequences. Conviction of a fourth-degree money laundering charge can result in up to 4 years in prison. A first-degree conviction can net nearly 25 years in prison. The courts can also impose monetary fines of up to two times the amount of the transaction that spurred the investigation.
Hire an Attorney to Defend You Against Money Laundering Charges in New York!
In addition to criminal charges mentioned above, someone that violates the anti-money laundering statutes can also have assets forfeited. For this reason, it is necessary to have an attorney that understands the complexity of laws relating to this crime to represent you.
Money Laundering Attorney in New York
If you have been or will be accused of money laundering, it’s important to contact an attorney to serve you with dedication and integrity. Stephan Jacob Siegel, Esq. is available to help clients through a difficult time and represent them with a diligent defense against all charges.