If you are facing criminal charges for money laundering, you need an experienced, committed, and dedicated lawyer on your side. Like most other crimes, money laundering can severely disrupt your life during the investigation. You should be prepared for your finances and business to be under scrutiny. You will need an experienced and committed attorney to help you through this process since you may not be aware of all aspects of the investigation.
The crime of money laundering involves the transformation of profits from illegal activities and corruption into legal assets. Anyone charged with money laundering can face serious consequences, including 5 to 15 years of prison in addition to fines and restitution payments. Most often, the accusation for money laundering comes with a charge, or the suspicion of other alleged crimes to be the source of the laundered funds. In this case, your investigation may be the means to a very specific end: identifying the illegal activity generating the allegedly dirty money. These cases typically involve extensive investigations and the potential seizure of cash assets.
If you or someone you know have been charged with money laundering, you should contact a seasoned money laundering defense lawyer who will fight for your rights. Attorney Darwin Overson has decades of experience as a criminal defense attorney representing complex cases. In cases of money laundering, Darwin will work with financial experts and other professionals, if necessary, to defend those accused of a variety of money laundering and related crimes. Call (801) 758-2287 to schedule a prompt consultation.
Money Laundering Crimes
Anyone charged with money laundering under Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-1903 should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Money laundering is generally considered a complex offense that is typically proven by tracking the funds from the illegal source to a legitimate commercial or property enterprise. The authorities have to provide tangible information on the paper trail before a conviction can be obtained. However, since there are various ways in which the charges can arise, the authorities have a great deal of leeway to file charges, including allegations related to:
- Transporting, receiving, or acquiring property that comes from an unspecified unlawful activity
- Making the proceeds of illegal activities available to others by the transaction, transportation, or other means, with knowledge that the proceeds will be used to continue an unlawful activity
- Conducting transactions with the proceeds of unlawful actions with the intent to promote unlawful activity, conceal or disguise the source of the property, or avoid reporting requirements
All the instances described above can occur in a vast number of circumstances typical of the operation of a business. For example, Utah requires businesses to report every cash transaction of $10,000 or more that take place in any one business day. Violating this reporting requirement can lead to criminal charges, ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony. Not all actions to avoid reporting necessarily involve criminal activity, but they can still be the basis for money laundering charges.
If your financial transactions are the subject of an FBI or IRS investigation, you may face federal money laundering charges. Federal and state money laundering laws impose different penalties.
Laws Against Money Laundering in Salt Lake City, Utah
According to Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-1902 of the Utah Criminal Code, the crime of money laundering involves transactions with the proceeds of an illegal activity. Utah money laundering statutes are designed to target transactions intended to conceal separate illegal activities. Most items seized are legitimate; however, the effects of money laundering suspicions can still hurt your finances, as law enforcement officers might attempt to seize your assets or freeze any bank accounts in your name, including any joint accounts with your spouse or business partner.
The Utah Criminal Code has a broad definition of “unlawful activity.” According Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-1902(6), law enforcement officials must prove that the accused knew that the money in question came from illegal activities, although the person does not necessarily have to be privy to every detail of the activities. This means that the authorities don’t have to offer proof that you know the inner-workings of the illegal activity in order to charge you with money laundering.
Penalties for Money Laundering Crimes in Utah
Prison: Money laundering is a felony offense carrying a penalty between 5 and 15 years in prison depending on the degree assigned.
Fines: A federal money laundering offense can lead to fines of $500,000. In Utah, state fines can range from $5,000 to $10,000. Restitution of the illegal criminal gains is another requirement, in addition to the fines.
Probation: Courts sometimes impose probation in cases of money laundering. Typically, probation is granted with a number of conditions. You may be confined to your home or a limited number of locations, and you may have to submit to drug tests and stay out of any additional trouble with the law.
Call a Salt Lake City Money Laundering Defense Attorney
Contact the law office of Darwin Overson if you are facing an investigation or if you or someone you know has been charged with money laundering. The skilled team of lawyers at our disposal will fight tirelessly to protect your legal rights. Whatever the circumstances or charges against you, we will fight to seek the best possible outcome. Darwin understands the differences between federal and state money laundering laws and will help you understand your options. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, contact us at (801) 758-2287.