What is Money Laundering?
Money laundering is the method of taking extremely large amounts of money spawned by criminal enterprises and then making it appear as though generated from a genuine source. Let’s say that a drug trafficker has money from drug sales and needs to keep it safe but can’t deposit it in a bank because it is illegal or dirty. So he makes it look like the cash came from sales of legal crops. Criminals use fake documents and other tricks to be able to deposit the dirty money and then withdraw it for whatever purposes they need. This is considered laundering.
Money laundering is considered a crime on its own and you can get prison time for being convicted of it.
Money Laundering Ramifications
Money laundering is a federal crime and authorities are very motivated in investigating and prosecuting it. There actually is no minimum amount of money required to be charged with this offense unlike other crimes involving cash. A money laundering conviction can bring long sentences and large fines. Also, your assets can be seized or frozen leading to stress and negative impact on your family and business.
Money Laundering In Las Vegas
Since this offense seriously affects the Nevada economy, it is taken very seriously. Obviously, Nevada is a prime place for money laundering because Nevada’s casinos offer a perfect method to do so. Any individual who takes dirty money earned from illegal activity into a casino and then exchanges it for chips, then gambles, and then turns the chips in for a check that gets deposited into a bank making the funds appear to be from a legitimate source is guilty of money laundering.
What Are the Penalties for Money Laundering?
Fines up to $500,000 and up to twenty years in a federal prison. There are no federal prisons in Nevada. So, friends and family would have to travel out of state to visit you. These are serious penalties and if you or a loved one are facing a money laundering charge it is imperative that you call a competent Las Vegas attorney to ensure you are defended by the best.
Is It Defendable?
Fortunately, federal courts in Nevada have set a high bar for prosecutors. To prove a money laundering case the prosecutors must show that the money is more than simply possessing funds earned illegally from illegal activity. There has to be an actual tangible financial transaction used to hide the real source of the money.
If they can’t prove these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, they will lose in court if it is a fair trial. However, the state can get a conviction for the underlying crime that generated the money if it proves its case. Nevada federal courts also mandate that the money used in a financial transaction to be profits from the illegal activity; not merely dealings which are measures of the plan.
It is extremely important to hire an expert lawyer in this area of law. The penalties are just too severe to not have a competent console. We have decades of experience in successfully defending against money laundering charges. Call us today for a free consultation.