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Money Laundering Attorney

Criminal Defense Lawyer in West Covina, California

If you’re reading this, you’re probably worried about your future and looking for someone to advocate for your best interests. At Coimbra Law Firm, we represent people like you and regularly achieve total charge dismissal for clients accused of money laundering and other white-collar crimes. Connect with our West Covina criminal defense attorney, Joe Coimbra, today to discuss your options and schedule an initial case review.

Call (626) 827-7222 to speak to a member of our team.

Legal Definition of Money Laundering

Anti-money laundering laws exist penalize the unlawful generation of funds and prevent criminal gains from being incorporated into legitimate channels. They also prohibit people from deliberately covering up the source of illegally acquired money or attempting to make its origins seem legitimate. Legally speaking, the crime of money laundering consists of two parts:

  • Concealment: If you have been accused of money laundering, it is the prosecutor’s job to prove that you attempted to hide unlawfully gained funds or conceal their source. Physically hiding money on your person while travelling does not necessarily constitute money laundering, though it may serve as additional evidence if you meet any of the other criteria.
  • Criminal involvement: In order for your actions to be considered money laundering, the funds you are accused of concealing must have been gained directly through criminal activity, such as human trafficking or the sale of drugs, and you must have known that the money you received was generated unlawfully. You are not necessarily guilty of money laundering if you profit from the commission of a crime (unless, of course, you did so knowingly).

State and Federal Penalties for Money Laundering

Money laundering is both a state and a federal crime, meaning that conviction could result in subjection to both state and federal penalties.

Definition and Penalties of Money Laundering in California

California Penal Code 186.10 defines money laundering in the following terms:

  • Conducting or trying to conduct a transaction with a bank, such as making a deposit, cashing a check, withdrawing funds, etc.;
  • Where the transaction(s) in question is valued at an amount greater than $5,000 within a 7-day period of time or $25,000 within a 30-day period of time;
  • With deliberate motive and intent to promote criminal activity or knowledge that the money being used in the transaction was generated through criminal activity.

If convicted of money laundering in California, you could be subject to the following penalties:

  • 1 year in jail, maximum (if convicted of misdemeanor money laundering)
  • $1,000 in fines, maximum (if convicted of misdemeanor money laundering)
  • 16 months to 3 years in jail (if convicted of felony money laundering)
  • $250,000 in fines or double the amount laundered, depending on which is more (if convicted of felony money laundering)

In California, you could face even harsher punishment if you are convicted of laundering larger amounts of money. You could spend an additional year in prison if you laundered more than $50,000 and an additional 4 years in prison if the amount is greater than $2,500,000.

Federal Definition and Penalties of Money Laundering

Federal money laundering statutes primarily target large-scale criminal conspiracies, such as those that involve human trafficking, drug trafficking, terrorism, and other forms of organized crime. According to federal statutes, individuals may be convicted of money laundering and subject to harsh punishments if their crimes involve transactions of virtually any kind that stem from knowing use of criminally generated funds.

The scale and nature of your criminal penalties vary based on the amount and frequency of the money laundering crime(s) in question. If convicted at the federal level, you could spend decades in prison and be subjected to millions of dollars in fines, as long as you are indicted within 5 years of your offense.

Needless to say, the consequences of money laundering are severe, even on a lesser state level. You do not have time to wait if you are being accused of concealing and using illegally generated funds. If you are facing money laundering charges, connect with a member of our team at Coimbra Law Firm today to schedule your initial consultation.

Call (626) 827-7222 today to secure legal representation and speak with a West Covina criminal defense lawyer.

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