Everyone has heard of money laundering and knows that it is illegal, but few people really understand these charges. We’ve seen references to money laundering on crime shows and in movies so often that most people assume that all money-laundering charges come from hiding drug money or activities for big organizations like the mob or an international drug cartel.
Unfortunately, these charges aren’t always from activities that are so clear-cut. Many people find themselves facing serious felony charges for moving money illegally — sometimes for activities that they had no idea were illegal.
Generally speaking, using some form of concealment to make illegal or dirty money or assets appear to be legal or “clean” is considered money laundering. While this naturally includes money from traditional schemes associated with organized crime, a Cincinnati fraud lawyer can explain that money laundering could also include money connected to lesser crimes like illegal gambling or theft.
Under Ohio law, even “laundering” stolen property can lead to charges — despite the fact that no actual cash is changing hands. Similarly, people often find themselves accused of money laundering in conjunction with some type of fraud, which sometimes can simply be sparked by false allegations or a misunderstanding of your legitimate business.
Consequences of Moving Money Illegally
No matter how much money or property was actually laundered, money laundering can lead to serious felony charges. In Ohio, you face a sentence that includes incarceration for 9 to 36 months and a fine of up to $7,500 if you’re convicted. Depending on the amount of money that you are charged with moving illegally, you could even face greater punishment.
In certain cases, you may actually even be charged with a federal crime, which is punishable by up to 20 years in a federal prison. Even worse, the government can seize your personal property if they believe that it was purchased or used in connection with the money-laundering scheme.
As you can see, even a very small act of moving money illegally or money laundering can have severe consequences. This does not even take into account the collateral consequences on your career and social life that would follow a felony conviction. No matter how little you knew about the alleged crime or how small your involvement, a money laundering charge is a serious legal matter.
How a Cincinnati Fraud Lawyer Can Help
If you are facing allegations of moving money illegally or money laundering, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands these charges and has a solid track record of representing people facing charges involving white collar crimes.
Call Cincinnati fraud lawyer Brad Groene for a free case evaluation today at (513) 338-1890. Find out exactly what implications these charges may have and how we may be able to help you fight them.