Charlotte Money Laundering Defense Lawyers

Money laundering is a serious financial crime with significant penalties. Money laundering involves transferring money for the purpose of conducting a crime. Defendants charged with money laundering are often charged with money laundering for the purpose of organized crime, terrorist activities, or making drug transactions. If you are facing money laundering charges, you need to contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.

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One example of money laundering would include someone operating a cash-based restaurant and using the business to hide money made for illegal drug trading. If you have been charged with money laundering, the lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC can help. We have decades of experience successfully representing clients in drug crimes charges. Contact our Charlotte criminal defense law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.

The Elements of Money Laundering

The first element of money laundering is placement. The placement is the initial act in which the suspect illegally transfers the money. The second element is layering when the suspect isolates the money away from the illegal source of the money. The purpose of layering is to hide the illegal origins of the money.

The final element of money laundering is called integration, or when the suspects use the laundered money. This element of the crime of money laundering usually looks legitimate. At this point in the crime, most people do not realize that the money has come from illegal purposes. This final element involves the suspect using the money for legitimate purposes.

Defending Against Money Laundering Accusations in Charlotte

In North Carolina, innocent business owners can find themselves in court facing money laundering charges. Law enforcement officials conduct investigations and look for ways that illegally obtained money can be placed or "laundered" into a legitimate business. If you are an innocent Charlotte business owner who is facing criminal charges, or you are being investigated, it is essential to hire a defense lawyer as soon as possible.

How do Money Laundering Charges Come About?

Law enforcement officials will look for obvious and subtle violations of federal regulations. Cash structuring is a common scheme that law enforcement looks for when investigating potential money laundering charges. In cash structuring schemes, law enforcement officers will try to pinpoint cash deposits, made in short periods of time, in even dollar amounts. Law enforcement officials know the value of certain amounts of drugs and will investigate a suspect's bank account deposits to find a deposit in the amount of a certain quantity of drugs.

Money Laundering Laws

Multiple state and federal laws punish money laundering. Many of these laws came about as a response to organized crime and Mafia activity. Congress passed the Bank Secrecy Act in the 1970s. This law requires financial institutions to report certain types of suspicious financial transactions to the U.S. Department of Treasury. Banks and other financial institutions must report transactions over $10,000.

Financial institutions must also report all suspicious transactions. A transaction can be suspicious because they believe it is related to a type of criminal activity, or they believe a transaction was made to avoid triggering the reporting requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act. Law enforcement often begins money laundering investigations on the basis of reported financial transactions under the Bank Secrecy Act.

The Money Laundering Act of 1986 prohibits U.S. citizens from making financial transactions using the proceeds of certain types of crimes. The term financial transaction is broad and includes any transfer of money from one private person to another.

The Patriot Act and Money Laundering

In 2001, Congress passed the USA Patriot Act. This act includes a provision that gives the federal government more power to regulate financial transactions. The Patriot Act includes a provision called the Money Laundering Abatement and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act of 2001. This part of the law focuses almost exclusively on money-laundering issues.

The Patriot Act allows prosecutors to bring charges against financial institutions that are "willfully" blind to money-laundering schemes that take place within their institutions. The law also requires certain financial institutions, such as banks, to hire compliance officers and train employees to help detect money laundering schemes.

Financial Crimes are Extremely Complicated

Financial crimes are extremely complicated for defense attorneys and prosecutors. Money laundering crimes require a level of knowledge and skill. If you have been charged with money laundering in Charlotte, the experienced lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC can help. Call our lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to evaluate your options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.