Companies and individuals engaged in seemingly innocent business activities might find themselves targeted by state or federal prosecutors in connection with money cleaning charges. The prosecutions usually originate with investigations into drug crimes or drug manufacturing or activities associated with organized crime.
Laundering money begins with the placement of revenue from illegal activities into the commerce stream. The money is systematically transferred or moved in a way that is designed to hide its original illegal source. If done correctly, money washing results in funds that are free from any trace of their illegal origins and can be integrated or used without fear of detection.
According to the Texas Penal Code, it is a crime to invest, expend or receive money from illegal activities with the intention of furthering the criminal activity. A person can also face charges for illegally obtained money by engaging in any of the following activities with respect to the funds from a criminal enterprise:
Criminal money cleaning charges frequently involve the use of corporations created solely to shield the illegal sources of the money by moving it between multiple layers of shell corporations. Legitimate businesses that handle large amounts of cash can be used to move illegally obtained funds along with the legitimate cash proceeds of the business.
In Texas, the laundering of funds is a type of felony crime. The sentence that a judge is authorized to impose upon a person convicted of the crime depends upon the amount of money involved in the cleaning scheme. The following are sentencing ranges for different charges:
Houston criminal defense attorney Rand Mintzer knows from his years of defending the rights of fund washing defendants that prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused knew of the illegal nature of the activity generating the money. The intentions and knowledge of the accused are key elements that prosecutors must establish and which money laundering attorneys can challenge to weaken the cases against their clients.
If you are under investigation for washing or cleaning crimes, a skilled and knowledgeable defense attorney can help you to avoid mistakes that can strengthen the prosecutor’s case against you. Before talking to investigators or prosecutors, make an appointment with Rand Mintzer, Attorney at Law by calling 713-862-8880.