Albuquerque White Collar Crimes Lawyer on Money Laundering
An Albuquerque white collar crimes lawyer defines money laundering as any process by which criminals conceal or disguise the source of the proceeds of criminal misconduct by making them appear to have been lawful. The processes by which property acquired by criminal means may be laundered are numerous. Though money may be laundered without involvement from the financial sector, every year large, legitimate, long-established financial institutions launder hundreds of billions of dollars so acquired. The services and products financiers offer in management and control of financial property expose them to abuse by money launderers.
Money laundering conceals, misrepresents, and disguises details of financial income. Money laundering can hide the source of income, mask the process of spending it, or mislead investigations into particular spending patterns or trends. While money laundering is not specific to commerce, the Albuquerque white collar crimes lawyer says it takes place most commonly within the scope of business activity.
Elements of Money Laundering
There are two key elements to the money-laundering offense:
- The provision of financial services necessary for the laundering
- Subjective or objective knowledge of or suspicion about the where the money came from or how the depositor got it
In the act of laundering a banker or financier provides a service or product that involves proceeds of crime in banking, fiduciary, and investment business relationships.
The requisite knowledge or suspicion is usually present where the banker, business fiduciary, or investment manager providing the service or product knows or has good reason to suspect that the property represents the proceeds of crime. In some cases the service or product provider may be implicated by mere knowledge that the depositor has engaged in or benefited from criminal conduct, according to the Albuquerque white collar crimes lawyer.
Are all proceeds of crime predicates for money laundering? Our Albuquerque white collar crimes lawyer says jurisdictions define crimes that predicate the offence of money laundering in at least two different ways:
- In some jurisdictions it is any crime punishable by one or more years of imprisonment. In other jurisdictions the necessary punishment may be three or five years imprisonment; or
- A requirement for the crime to be recognized both where it took place and where the laundering occurs or a requirement for the conduct to be a crime where the laundering occurs regardless of where it took place.
In practice almost all serious crimes of arms trafficking, bribery and corruption, drug trafficking, fraud, prostitution, terrorism, and the like can be predicates for money laundering offenses in most jurisdictions. Tax evasion and other fiscal offences are predicates for money-laundering offenses in most effectively-regulated jurisdictions.
Purpose of the Criminal Law
The purpose of prohibition of money laundering is to remove the profit motive from crime. The rationale for the criminal penalty is that it is wrong to help criminals profit from the proceeds of their criminal activities or to facilitate their commission by providing financial services for them.
Traditionally money laundering has been a process with three distinct stages:
- Placement, the stage at which criminals introduce proceeds of their misdeeds into the financial system.
- Layering, the substantive stage of the process that officially washes the property to disguise its source and ownership history
- Integration, the final stage at which the laundered property reenters the legitimate economy.
This three-staged outline of money laundering is simplistic. In reality, the stages often overlap and in some cases, as in financial crimes, there is no placement stage.
Types of Money Laundering
A dummy corporation can misrepresent a business or commercial operation’s financial activity. A dummy corporation maintains the façade of a legitimate business complete with reports of revenue and outlays to fabricate illusory commercial transactions. This money-laundering method filters monies acquired by criminal means into the dummy corporation to simulate the circulation of money in legitimate financial activity.
Strategic bank deposits can be another method of laundering monies. Large deposits for money laundering in offshore accounts are beyond the reach of American regulators in the absence of an inter-governmental agreement or investigative permission from local authorities.
Arrests for Money Laundering
Individuals arrested on warrants charging money laundering should be cooperative. Suspects under arrest can consult with attorneys after the arrest process. Resisting or fleeing from an arrest for money laundering can cause additional harm, injury, complications, and penalties.
Preparation of a Defense with an Albuquerque Criminal Attorney
The Twohig Law Firm fights for individual rights and liberties throughout New Mexico in both state and federal courts. Call our Albuquerque white collar crimes lawyer at 505-898-0400