South Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyer for Money Laundering
Prosecutors are harsh on individuals charged with a white-collar crime. If you are under investigation or have been charged with the crime of money laundering, it is imperative that you seek the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
What is Money Laundering?
Money laundering is a type of criminal activity that involves the concealment of funds. It occurs when a person attempts to conceal the source, destination, or identity of illegally obtained or acquired money. It can also be used as a means of evading taxes by hiding the original source and quantity of the illegally obtained funds. Oftentimes, money laundering schemes involve illegal drug operations, weapons sales, however, money may be laundered for a variety of reasons. The common denominator is that the funds or assets were obtained via a specified unlawful activity and that the perpetrator engaged in illicit financial transactions to conceal or disguise its origin.
Typically, money is laundered by breaking up large sums of money into smaller, less suspicious amounts and depositing them directly into a bank account. The money can also be broken up via multiple monetary instruments such as money orders or checks. Once it reaches the account, the goal is to distance the money from its original source. One way to do this is by wiring the money to a foreign bank (or multiple foreign banks) where anti-money laundering investigations are unlikely to occur. The defendant may also wire the funds to a legitimate business and then disguise the money as a legal transaction of goods or services.
A money laundering charge can also coincide with other white-collar crimes (such as embezzlement, mail fraud, or insider trading) where large sums of money are illegally obtained and then sought to be legitimized through this illegal activity.
Is Money Laundering a Federal Charge?
Money laundering is a criminal offense under both state and federal laws. However, because money laundering typically involves interstate commerce and is a direct threat to the United States tax system, it is often charged as a federal crime.
18 U.S.C. § 1956 – Laundering of Monetary Instruments
The crime of money laundering is outlined in 18 U.S.C. § 1956. This section of the U.S. Code defines both domestic and international money laundering transactions as well as undercover (or “sting”) money laundering transactions. Under this legislation, a person or entity commits the crime of money laundering if they knowingly and intentionally conduct (or attempt to conduct) a financial transaction that involves proceeds derived from illegal activity.
This chapter also details the required elements of a money laundering offense. To secure a conviction, prosecutors must prove that the defendant must have had criminal intent and knowledge that the financial property originated from unlawful activity.
Being indicted for money laundering in the federal system could leave you facing up to 20 years in prison if convicted which is why strong legal representation is vital to your defense.
What are the Penalties for Money Laundering Charges in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, the criminal penalties for money laundering depend on the amount of proceeds used in the transaction. All penalties are based on the money laundered within a one-year period.
- If the transactions are between $300- $20,000, it is a Class F felony. This warrants up to 5 years in prison.
- If the transactions are between $20,000 and $100,000, it is considered a Class E felony. This warrants up to 10 years in prison.
- If the transactions total or exceed $100,000, it is a Class C felony in South Carolina. This warrants up to 20 years in prison.
Call Top South Carolina Theft Defense Attorney AnneMarie Odom Today
If you’re involved in any South Carolina theft case, you need strong legal representation from Attorney AnneMarie Odom. She always prioritizes every attorney-client relationship while fighting for the best case outcome possible. For more information on how our legal team at AnneMarie Odom Law can provide you with the best defense, call 864-775-5833 as soon as possible.
Our experienced white-collar crime defense attorneys are ready to assist you in these difficult situations that pose a real threat of jeopardizing your entire future. Call today.
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