In recent years, there has been a renewed focus on the issue of money laundering. According to data provided by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the equivalent of $1 trillion and $2 trillion U.S. dollars are laundered globally each year. State and federal prosecutors are cracking down on money laundering schemes.
If you are facing allegations of money laundering or you were arrested on a money laundering charge, it is imperative that you have access to the tools, knowledge, and resources needed to protect your rights. In this blog post, our Chicago money laundering defense attorney provides a comprehensive guide to money laundering charges.
Money Laundering: Defined
Broadly defined, money laundering is the knowingly and intentional process of trying to turn funds obtained from an illicit source into “legitimate” cash. In other words, money laundering occurs when a person attempts to conceal the source of funds obtained from criminal activity. Often, money laundering charges are brought against people who allegedly obtained illegal funds from financial fraud or drug trafficking.
As an example of how money laundering works, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced that an Illinois man pleaded guilty to a money laundering charge. In that case, the DOJ alleged that the man attempted to launder between $550,000 and $1,500,000 that was obtained from internet-based fraud schemes. The defendant allegedly tried to disguise the ill-obtained funds as legitimate business revenue.
Money Laundering is Both a State and Federal Crime in Illinois
It is important to emphasize that money laundering is both a federal crime and a state crime. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed the Money Laundering Control Act into law. Among other things, the legislation made money laundering a federal criminal offense (18 U.S. Code § 1956). Many states, including Illinois, also have criminal money laundering statutes in place. Money laundering is a felony under Illinois statutes 720 ILCS 5/29B-1.
While state and federal money laundering statutes are not identical, they are broadly similar. To get a conviction in a money laundering case, a state or federal prosecutor must generally prove the following three things:
What to Know About Money Laundering Penalties
Money laundering is a very serious criminal offense. Under Illinois state law, the severity of a money laundering charge depends largely on the amount in question. Here is an overview of the state penalties for money laundering in Illinois:
Federal money laundering charges can carry even more severe criminal penalties. A conviction for money laundering under Section 1956 could carry a maximum criminal sentence of 20 years in federal prison and a $500,000 fine.
Common Defense Strategies Against Money Laundering Charges
A number of different defenses can be raised in money laundering cases. If you or your family member is facing a state or federal money laundering charge, it is crucial that you explore all potential legal defenses. A proactive approach is critically important in complex white-collar criminal cases. Here are four of the most defenses against money laundering charges:
How an Illinois Money Laundering Defense Attorney Can Help
Money laundering cases are complex. It is normal to be frightened, confused, and overwhelmed if you are facing criminal allegations. At The Law Offices of Vadim A. Glozman, we help individuals accused of state or federal white-collar criminal charges. When you reach out to our Chicago law office, you will have an opportunity to consult with an Illinois money laundering defense lawyer who is prepared to:
Call Our Chicago, IL Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer for Help
At The Law Offices of Vadim A. Glozman, our Chicago federal criminal defense attorneys have the professional skills and legal expertise to defend clients facing money laundering charges. If you or someone you know was arrested for money laundering, we are available to help.
Call us at 312.726.9015 to schedule your strictly confidential consultation. From our legal office in Chicago, we provide federal criminal defense representation throughout the region, including in Cook County, Will County, Kane County, McHenry County, and DuPage County.