Money laundering is the act of making illegally obtained money, or what they prefer to call “dirty” money, appear legal and “clean.” It is often a way for highly profitable criminal enterprises to stash their cash or illegally obtain money in a way that the authorities would not suspect. Most of the money from these criminal enterprises is so big that they need to find a venture or business to front the money as a legitimate source of income.
If you are prosecuted with money laundering, it is best to call the best money laundering criminal defense attorneys in Gold River, California, to represent your case. Because the punishment for the crime can vary from a year of jail sentence to more than six years with possible fines, it is of utmost importance to work with an attorney or legal expert team behind you.
Chastaine Jones has decades of experience in handling and representing criminal defenses. You can be sure to have a legal expert help your case with a creative way to solve your problem. If you or your loved ones face charges such as assault and battery, sex offense, white collar crimes such as money laundering, or any other criminal defense, we are the best attorney for your case!
The term “money laundering” comes from the word “dirty money” that came from illegal activities or ways while trying to make it look “clean” by channeling funds through bank accounts or any business. California law has different statutes for money laundering: Penal Code 186.10 PC, which covers money related to any crime, and California Health and Safety Code 11370.9 HS, which only deals with money earned or came from drug crimes.
Under the California Penal Code Section 186.10 PC, money laundering is considered a white collar crime with severe penalties.
For a person to be charged with a money laundering crime, the following elements must take place such as:
Because money laundering is a complicated issue, highly profitable criminal groups take different steps or actions to make it seem legitimate. Because dealing with laundered money can be easily traced if done wrong, most criminal groups involve three steps to “clean” their money.
This step puts the “dirty money” into other legitimate financial systems such as businesses. These often involve dividing or separating money into smaller chunks to make it easier to use the money.
This conceals the primary source of the “dirty money” by going through a series of legitimate transactions and other bookkeeping tricks (such as inflating daily cash receipts in the business).
After doing the previous steps above, the money will seem clean and legitimate. The laundered money is withdrawn from these legitimate bank accounts.
One of the most common forms of money laundering is called “smurfing.” Through this technique, criminal organizations divide or break up a significant portion of the illegally obtained money into small chunks of cash and deposit it into smaller bank accounts to avoid detection.
Another way to launder the money is by using currency exchanges, wire transfers and “mules.” This is when cash smugglers sneak large amounts of cash across different borders and deposit them using different foreign bank accounts. This is usually done because money-laundering schemes enforcement in other countries is much less strict with the rise of online banking that can quickly transfer money from one person to another – making detecting or tracing money laundering even harder.
Also, one common way to invest money laundering is through investment in gems such as diamonds, gold, and other very expensive artifacts that can easily be transferred into different places. Some also make investments in other business ventures such as real estate and gambling. Some even use a shell company (inactive companies or corporations that exist only in paper), most commonly known as “fronts.”
Because there are different money laundering schemes, getting involved or accused of being involved can lead to severe penalties and charges. It is essential to call the best legal defense attorney to help you with your case.
Different charges or degrees of money laundering can have different degrees of penalties. A violation of Penal Code 186.10 PC can either result in a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of the case and the defendant’s previous criminal record.
If a misdemeanor has been charged, the crime is punishable by up to one year in county jail or state prison with a maximum fine of up to $1,000.
Severe cases can lead to a felony charge punishable by up to four years in jail under the California realignment program with a possible fine of $250,000 or almost twice the amount of money laundered. If the defendant has previous money laundering charges and is found guilty, the maximum penalty can increase to nearly five times the amount of laundered money.
If the amount of money laundered exceeds $50,000, the maximum jail sentence can be increased by one year. However, if the amount of money laundered exceeds more than $2,500,000, the jail sentence can be increased by another extra four years.
As mentioned earlier, the prosecutor can only prove that the defendant is guilty of money laundering when they know where the funds come from and use them for activities. By proving the prosecutors wrong with these allegations, defendants, through their reliable money laundering defense attorney, can help refute those charges.
The defendants can argue that they didn’t have any criminal intent and didn’t know where the money came from.
For money to be considered “money laundered,” that cash or amount must be over $5,000 or more and engages in other financial transactions. The defendant can argue that they don’t have such money and prove they didn’t do any financial transactions.
Alleged money launderers can defend and contest that the authority or enforcement violated their constitutional rights such as: conducting unlawful search or seizure, arresting alleged defendants without any probable cause, coerced into a confession, or failure to read their Miranda rights.
Suppose you or your loved ones have been dragged in a money laundering case, white-collar crimes, or facing any criminal charges. In that case, it is essential to call the best and most experienced money laundering defense attorneys in Gold River or Sacramento, California.
We at Chastaine Jones Criminal Defense Attorneys have over three decades of professional experience as criminal defense lawyers. Our California law firm utilizes superior legal abilities and provides expertise to help clients develop the best possible solution for their cases. We are here to help you address any of your legal needs with aggressiveness but will provide compassionate and respectful representation.
Schedule a consultation with our California law firm today! Call (916) 932-7150.
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