Money laundering is a serious crime

New York defendants who have been charged with money laundering should understand the seriousness with which the Feds view the alleged crime. While many associate money laundering with large and sophisticated criminal enterprises and a multitude of shell companies, the truth is that many more people can be charged.

Making “bad” money “good”

Money laundering when illegally-earned money is made to appear legitimate. Anyone who runs a criminal operation, no matter how big or small it is, can be charged with money laundering. This includes sophisticated fraud rings and street-level drug dealers. These alleged criminals do not usually have access to the banking system as others do. Instead, they must find a way to bring their money from their operations into “regular life” outside the financial system.

Money laundering is more complicated now

With the internet and other mobile payment apps, money laundering has gotten more sophisticated. The federal government has tried to match the moment with vigorous enforcement of its own. The government stepped up its anti-money laundering efforts in the wake of 9/11 with a multitude of new rules for financial institutions to follow. These banks are the government’s first line of defense, and they are tasked with being the eyes and ears. Now, financial institutions have entire teams of people who work in the compliance area to prevent money laundering.

Money laundering can bring stiff criminal penalties. It is a federal crime, and it can be charged with up to 20 years in prison. If you have been charged with money laundering, you should understand that the consequences can be serious. The charges often go along with other criminal charges, and the sum total could be a long incarceration. You should contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately.