Featured News 2019 What is Money Laundering?

What is Money Laundering?

According to the United Nations, about 2-5 percent of the global GP comes from money laundered from illicit activities. This amounts to approximately $800 billion - $2 trillion laundered each year. Money laundering is the process of obtaining illegal compensation and then hiding its source through the means false business endeavors such as investments, transfers, or bank deposits.

Cornell University divides money laundering into the following steps:

· The unlawful activity takes place, placing the illegal wages into the hands of the launderer.

· Next, the launderer creates a technically complex system to divert suspicion from the person who will retrieve the financial information.

· Through the launderer's system, the money returns to him without any suspicion.

Most Common Money Laundering Schemes

Often, money laundering will commence through holding companies, shell businesses, or offshore accounts. Offshore accounts are useful for money launderers who desire to get around the banking regulations of their home country. By using an offshore account, a money launderer attempts to avoid reporting their transactions to the government.

A shell business typically does not possess many assets or conduct a significant amount of business. Instead, a shell business’ purpose is to look like a legitimate means of generation profit for money launderers. A shell business typically distributes their funds in cash to make their transfers harder for the government to follow. Using a shell business, a money launderer will make their illegal funds look legitimate through the activities of a fake legal business. After the fake business receives laundered money, it is transferred in cash back to the launderer.

Money Laundering Laws

The following laws are used to prosecute money laundering:

· Bank Secrecy Act of 1970

· Money Laundering Control Act of 1986

· The Patriot Act of 2001

The Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 states that any transaction $10,000.01 and over is to be reported to certain government agencies. The law also requires banks to report suspicious activity which indicates money laundering, tax evasion, or other criminal behavior.

The Money Laundering Control Act of 1986 made money laundering a federal crime. This act made laundering a criminal offense for the first time in the United States. Additionally, the law introduced civil and criminal forfeiture for those who violate the Bank Secrecy Act and held banks accountable for following the law.

After the attacks of September 11, 2001, Congress passed the Patriot Act in response to the funding of terrorism. This law required even more companies to monitor and report any suspicious activity. However, lawmakers revised the law in 2008 to require proof that the original intent of a person accused of money laundering was to hide the source of their funds.

If a money laundering charge or warrant has been issued for you, it is important to cooperate even if you are innocent—authorities may charge you with additional crimes if you do not cooperate. As an American, there are certain rights which are inherently yours. What is guaranteed by law is the following:

· Habeas corpus

· The right to due process

· The right to remain silent

· The right to an attorney

If you have been charged with money laundering, don't wait any longer to contact an experienced attorney who may help to clear your name. Protect your future by using our directory to find a nearby criminal defense attorney.

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