Money laundering is a type of white collar crime and the penalties and consequences for money laundering can be serious. Money laundering charges can also be complex, so it is important to understand what it involves if you are facing money laundering accusations or charges.
The purpose of money laundering is to falsely create the appearance that money that has been obtained from criminal activity originated from a legitimate, non-criminal source. Money laundering involves concealing the true source of large amounts of money obtained through criminal activity, such as drug trafficking, terrorist activity or another illegal source.
Money laundering is the process that "cleans," so to speak, money that has been illicitly obtained. Money laundering is essential to criminal organizations and involves three steps, including placement, layering and integration. Placement involves introducing the illicitly-obtained money into the financial system. Layering involves concealing the source of the money through complex transactions or bookkeeping tricks. Integration involves acquiring the money through the purportedly legitimate means.
There are many methods of laundering money which can range from simple to especially complex, so it is important for accused individuals to be familiar with their criminal defense options and be prepared to form a strong criminal defense strategy to challenge the charges they are facing. The potential penalties of and consequences associated with money laundering accusations are serious and should not be considered lightly, which is why accused individuals should know how to protect their rights. A conviction on money laundering charges could lead to a prison sentence.