Money laundering allows drug dealers, embezzlers and other criminals to move illegal cash into the legal economy. Even though federal law requires banking officials to report every deposit that exceeds $10,000, creative criminals employ a network of banks, businesses and small deposits to legitimize the dirty cash, making it difficult for law enforcement investigators to prove the origin of the money. Offshore banks may also assist in the process of depositing, diverting and integrating illegal cash into the legal economy.
The detection of money laundering is a high priority for the FBI, IRS and DEA. After thoroughly investigating the nature and scope of a money laundering charge, an experienced criminal defense lawyer may be able to recommend one of the following defense strategies:
As with most criminal charges, the prosecution has the burden of proving that a criminal defendant intended to commit a crime. It’s not at all unusual for bankers, accountants and other financial professionals to get caught up in a money laundering scheme without even being aware that a crime is being committed. If a defendant can convince a prosecutor, judge or jury that they had no knowledge of the illegal activity, the case may be dismissed or the defendant found innocent of all charges.
According to the Texas Penal Code, if a defendant can prove that they were forced to participate in a money laundering operation against their will, they will likely be cleared of all charges. Accountants and bankers are often threatened with harm if they refuse to assist the actual culprits.
Texas law requires the prosecution to prove that a suspect intended to conceal illegal money by making it difficult to trace the money back to its point of origin. The prosecution must also connect the money with a specific illegal activity. The absence of either of these criteria may provide the basis for an effective defense strategy.
A money laundering conviction can result in incarceration and financial penalties. A knowledgeable money laundering defense attorney can investigate the available evidence and devise an effective defense strategy.
Contact Rand Mintzer, Attorney at Law at 713-862-8880 to get legal consultation for money laundering.