MONEY LAUNDERING CASES NOW POSE GREATER BURDEN FOR PROSECUTION
The Supreme Court of the United States decided two cases on June 2, 2008, pertaining to charges of money laundering. In the first case, the charge of money laundering could only be applied to profits from an illegal gambling ring, and not payouts to bettors or employees. In the second case, the Court held that money laundering charges cannot be applied to a person simply hiding a large amount of cash in the trunk of a vehicle; the driver was stopped on the way to the Mexican border.
According to the Associated Press, the government brings money laundering charges against nearly 1,300 people every year, and the Court agreed with defense attorneys that the bounds of the law have been stretched too far. The Anti-Money Laundering law was passed in 1986 intended to remedy problems associated with organized crime and drug-trafficking. The law has frequently been applied in the world of white-collar crime; often tacked on to violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act which applies to American’s who bribe foreign officials.
The intention of the Anti-Money Laundering was for law enforcement to fill a gap and prevent the concealment and reinvestment of money derived from criminal activity. Between $8 billion and $25 billion dollars of Mexican and Columbian “drug money” is transported out of the United States every year. The Court’s rulings increase the government’s burden in money laundering cases. Specifically, prosecutors must show that money transported in money laundering cases was done so to conceal the defendant’s ownership, source, or control.
Money laundering is the practice of engaging in financial transactions in order to conceal the identity, source, and/or destination of money. A violation of the law carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence, along with heavy fines upon a conviction.
If you have been charged with the crime of money laundering, contact an experienced Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorney immediately. There are defenses available to you, and a Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorney will assist in developing your defense.