St. Louis Money Laundering Attorney
How is money laundering defined under the law?
In the United States, money laundering is defined as the process of intentionally concealing the source of money that has been obtained by illicit means. Although no one has been able to provide a definitive estimate of just how much money is laundered each year, it is thought to be in the billions. In fact, the International Monetary Fund has reported that about two to five percent of the worldwide global economy is made up of laundered money—largely due to the sale of black market goods like illegal narcotics and weapons. Although the classification of this crime will vary from state to state, Missouri Code §574.105 maintains that one is guilty of money laundering if they have conducted a currency transaction:
- With the intention of aiding criminal activity
- For the purpose of concealing or disguising the source of ownership
- With the intention of avoiding federal reporting requirements
- For the purpose of carrying out a terrorist threat or act
Examining the Various Methods of Laundering Money in the U.S.
When an individual needs to conceal the source of money, they can utilize various different methods—ranging from simple to fairly complex. For example, some choose to use a "shell company," while others will invest in a legitimate business or make consistent bank deposits before the actual laundering occurs. Shell companies can be set up so that it would be difficult for a suspicious party to monitor their flow of cash. Typically the business would be one that regularly accepts cash for the payment of their services, including a repair shop or hair salon. If the individual decides to take a simpler route, they may establish a pattern of legitimate bank deposits so that no suspicion is aroused when the laundered money is subsequently deposited. Since this process typically involves some degree of complexity, however, it can be difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone has violated the law.
Legal Punishment for Money Laundering in Missouri
Among all forms of white collar crime in Missouri, the penalties associated with money laundering are particularly harsh-especially when the act is conducted in an attempt to conceal organized crime and/or to cover up a much more serious offense. For this reason, you should not hesitate to retain the services of a St. Louis criminal defense lawyer from the Sumner Law Group, LLC if you are facing similar charges. Money laundering is considered to be a Class B felony in the state of Missouri, which means that you could be sentenced to a maximum of 15 years in prison. Additionally, you could be expected to pay a fine of $500,000 or twice the amount of money that was involved in the illicit transaction. As such, it is important that you take steps to protect your future, your finances and your reputation.
Let Our St. Louis Criminal Defense Lawyer Protect Your Freedom
If you have been accused of fraudulently laundering money, you will need an aggressive legal professional in your corner. For this reason, the Sumner Law Group, LLC encourages you to place your trust in the hands of our St. Louis criminal defense attorney. In doing so, you can ensure that you will be afforded nothing less than the experienced representation that you deserve. Take action today by contacting our firm for a free initial consultation. You can call at (314) 485-9948 or fill out a
complimentary case evaluation form online. Either way you choose to get in touch, however, do not wait too long to retain the professional help that you will need to effectively combat your criminal charges.