Money laundering generally means that the defendant engaged in a financial transaction while having knowledge that the money involved in the transaction was obtained through some specified illegal means. If you have been charged with the crime of money laundering, you should know that you face serious penalties. To learn more about the charges you face, your options and possible penalties, you will want to talk to a New Jersey federal criminal defense attorney.
Elements of Money Laundering
Your attorney can explain to you that there are several elements that a prosecutor needs to prove to show money laundering:
- Knowledge. The defendant must have knowledge that the money was the proceeds of an illegal act. The defendant does not need to know the details of the illegal act, just that the money represents illicit gains;
- Financial Transaction. The defendant must have initiated, participated or concluded a financial transaction such as a sale, transfer, delivery or other disposition of illegal funds; and
- Intent. The defendant needs the intent to engage in some illegal act such as tax evasion, concealment or disguise. So a simple mistake may not be enough to support a money laundering charge.
Prosecutors have the burden of proving each of these elements. Your money laundering defense attorney can help defend any of these elements to make efforts to exonerate you of the crime of money laundering.
Penalties for Money Laundering
The penalties for money laundering are very severe. Someone who has been convicted of the crime can face both civil and criminal penalties:
- Up to 20 years in a federal prison;
- Possible $500,000 fine or twice the amount involved in the transaction, whichever is greater;
- Civil penalties if a private lawsuit is brought; and
- Order to pay restitution of the ill-gotten gains.
To learn more about the potential penalties, you should consult the federal sentencing guidelines.
Contact a New Jersey Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with money laundering, schedule a consultation with attorney Tim Anderson at 732-212-2812 to learn more about the charges and penalties you face.