Money laundering involves transferring money to make it appear that it comes from a legal source, when in fact it is illegally obtained. If you are accused of this crime, there may be defenses available to you.
Money laundering process
First, illegally obtained money is usually introduced into the financial system by transferring smaller amounts and depositing them into different banks or financial institutions. These transfers are intended to avoid attention from law enforcement or regulators.
The money launderer may use the money to purchase assets, sell them, or engage in other complex financial transactions so it is difficult to trace where the money came from. Then, the money is reintroduced through a legal transaction, like buying real estate or opening a business.
Law enforcement is often concerned with this crime because it can be part of a larger organized crime venture, fraud or other corrupt activities. A conviction for money laundering can carry significant fines, penalties and a lengthy prison sentence.
The specific defenses available will depend on your circumstances, however if you can demonstrate that you lacked knowledge of the crime and had no intent to launder money, that may be used as a defense.
Similarly, if you can show that the funds are legitimate and came from a legitimate source, such as employment income or an honest business transaction that may help you avoid conviction.
You may also be able to challenge the reliability and credibility of witnesses and evidence or that there were procedural violations during the investigation or during your arrest, which can exclude evidence.