What is Money Laundering?
Money laundering is the process of turning substantial amounts of money generated by a criminal practice to make them look to have come from a legitimate source. The most common examples are terrorist funding, drug trafficking, or even racketeering. Such money is considered dirty from this kind of criminal activity, and the process "launders" it to make it look clean or legal. Money laundering is characterized as a serious crime. Usually the money is obtained by any illegal source and transferred to a local bank or foreign bank in order to deposit it into a financial institution without stating the source of that money. In the eyes of the law the crime is considered as White-Collar or racketeering/RICO depending on the case.
Money Laundering Law in California
In the state of California the money laundering crime comes under California Penal Code Section 186.10 PC. Money Laundering may be considered in the State of California as a federal crime or a misdemeanor or even a felony depending on the nature of the crime, the amount of money laundered and the period and duration of the time spent to commit the crime. Usually, under the law of California, a Financial Institution participates in the crime by making a transaction exchange, deposit, withdrawal, or a transfer of the money.
Elements of Money Laundering Under California Penal Code
Under California Penal Code Section 186.10 PC Money Laundering contains the following components:
- The Accused committed a transaction(s) through a bank or any financial institution.
- The aggregate sum of the transaction(s) must be more than $5,000 in one-week time OR more than $25,000 in one month
- The transaction(s) was made with the expectation of committing a crime or the transactions or assets obtained were a result as a profit of the crime.
Penalties / Punishments of Money Laundering
Under Penal Code 186.10 PC it is a "wobbler," which implies that an investigator or prosecutor can record this crime as a felony or misdemeanor charge, depending upon the nature and seriousness of the crime and the criminal record of the accused.
- As misdemeanor, Money Laundering can be rebuffed by as long as one year in prison and court fines.
- As a felony, a sentence can convey as long as three years in jail and a most extreme fine of $250,000 or double of the money laundering amount, whichever is more. On the off chance that an individual has a previous record in Money Laundering crime then the most extreme fine can be $500,000 or multiple times the laundered amount whichever is more prominent.
- If it exceeds the amount of $50,000, an additional one year in jail can be added to any sentence. Also, an additional four years can be included if the amount of money laundering exceeds up to $2,500,000.
- In Federal Court, a conviction for Money Laundering can bring about a sentence of as long as 20 years in a Federal Prison.
- Lack of Intent
- Insufficient Evidence
- No cause of action
- Police false accusation
California Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
The crime of money laundering is a serious matter, however there are several ways to protect yourself from it, starting by hiring an experienced lawyer. A capable attorney can help to recognize and get the best deal possible depending on the situation. If you are a California-based person, the Law Offices of Raoul Severo is at your services.
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