Cincinnati Money Laundering Lawyer
Money laundering, in essence, involves the use of financial transactions to conceal a crime or to conceal the connection between money, property, or other assets and criminal activity. For purposes of a money laundering charge, money doesn’t have to mean cash. If you’re believed to have “laundered” property or other assets, you may be charged with money laundering.
Money laundering is a crime both under Ohio law and federal law and often is associated with drug trafficking, theft rings, or other organized forms of crime. Whether you’re prosecuted in an Ohio court or a federal court may depend on the nature of the money laundering and the associated criminal activity, and whether the money laundering or the associated criminal activity crossed state lines.
For example, if you’re accused of laundering the proceeds from a series of thefts that happened exclusively in Cincinnati or Hamilton County, you likely would be prosecuted locally under Ohio’s money laundering statute. However, if your money laundering charge is in connection with something like a multi-state drug trafficking operation, or if it involved evasion of federal taxes, you likely would be prosecuted in a federal court under federal money laundering laws.
Money laundering is a serious criminal offense, and a conviction can have lasting consequences. Some of the possible penalties for a money laundering conviction include:
- A prison sentence
- Expensive fines
- A permanent criminal felony record
- Loss of your professional license or career, and barriers to finding work
- Loss of property through asset forfeiture
- Loss of your immigration visa or green card, or deportation if you’re not an American citizen
If you or a family member has been charged with money laundering, the help of an experienced Ohio criminal defense lawyer may make a difference. A good defense lawyer can evaluate the circumstances of your charge, explain what to expect in court, and discuss your options for fighting the charge or negotiating with prosecutors for a resolution.
Ohio Money Laundering Charges and Penalties
Under Ohio Rev. Code 1315.55, the crime of money laundering includes:
- Conducting or attempting to conduct a transaction when you know the transaction involves the proceeds of a crime, and you have the purpose of committing or furthering the commission of a crime
- Conducting or attempting to conduct a transaction when you know the transaction involves the property that is the proceeds of a crime, and your intent is to conceal the nature or source of the property or to avoid required transaction reporting
- Conducting or attempting to conduct a transaction with the purpose of supporting or engaging in criminal activity
- Conducting or structuring, or attempting to conduct or structure a transaction that involves the proceeds of a crime of more than $10,000 if you know the transaction involves criminal proceeds
- Conducting or attempting to conduct a transaction that a law enforcement officer has told you involves proceeds of a crime with the intent to conceal the nature or source of the proceeds, or to support criminal activity
In Ohio, money laundering is a 3rd-degree felony offense. A conviction can result in penalties including:
- A sentence of 9 to 36 months of incarceration
- A fine of $7,500 or twice the value of the money laundered, whichever is greater
- An additional fine of three times the value of the money laundered that is paid into the state treasury
Federal Money Laundering Charges and Penalties
Under 18 U.S. Code 1956, the crime of money laundering includes:
- Being involved in a financial transaction involving the proceeds of a crime with the intent of promoting criminal activity
- Being involved in a financial transaction involving the proceeds of a crime for the purposes of concealing the nature, source, or ownership of the proceeds
- Being involved in a financial transaction involving the proceeds of a crime with the intent of evading taxes on the proceeds
- Being involved in a financial transaction involving the proceeds of a crime for the purposes of avoiding transaction reporting requirements
- Transporting, transmitting, or transferring, or an attempt to do any of those things, funds from inside the U.S. to outside the U.S. with the intent of promoting criminal activity
- Transporting, transmitting, or transferring, or an attempt to do any of those things, criminal proceeds from inside the U.S. to outside the U.S. for the purposes of concealing the nature, source, or ownership of the proceeds
- Transporting, transmitting, or transferring, or an attempt to do any of those things, criminal proceeds from inside the U.S. to outside the U.S. for the purposes of avoiding transaction reporting requirements
A conviction for any of these actions can be punished with up to 20 years in a federal prison, and a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the funds involved, whichever is greater.
Money laundering also may include:
- Conducting or attempting to conduct a transaction that a law enforcement officer or federal investigator has represented to you involves proceeds of a crime, with the intent to conceal the nature or source of the proceeds, or to support criminal activity
This form of money laundering is punishable by up to 20 years in prison upon conviction. You also may be subject to a civil penalty of $10,000 or twice the value of the funds involved in the transaction, whichever is greater.
Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture
When you are convicted of money laundering, you also may be subject to having your personal property seized by the government if it was used in connection with the money laundering activity. That could include your bank account, your business, or any other property that is linked to the money laundering.
Defending Your Cincinnati Money Laundering Charge
A charge of money laundering is a serious legal matter, and it’s recommended that you seek representation by a skilled Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer to help you through the court process. You don’t have to wait until you’ve been charged to hire a lawyer. A good white collar defense lawyer also can work to protect your rights if you know you’re part of an investigation into money laundering or other criminal activity, and be at your side when you’re interviewed by police. In some instances, the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer may help you avoid charges altogether.
If you are charged, a Cincinnati criminal defense attorney with experience handling money laundering cases can evaluate the evidence and arguments against you and build a defense strategy designed to get you the best possible outcome and preserve your future. Your charge may seem overwhelming and impossible to fight — especially if the weight of the federal government is against you — but you may have options. A criminal defense lawyer can best explain the possible outcomes and what to expect under the unique set of facts and circumstances in your case.
Hiring a Cincinnati Money Laundering Lawyer
If you have been charged with, or are being investigated for a white collar crime in Cincinnati, Ohio, contact Luftman, Heck & Associates for a free consultation regarding your case. Attorney Brad Groene will review your legal situation and help you understand your options. You may be able to avoid formal charges altogether.
Facing criminal charges? Contact us today.
Criminal charges can be an overwhelming and frightening experience. You are probably worried about your freedoms and privileges being at stake and have a lot of questions. You can rest assured, because the Cincinnati Criminal Defense team is here for you. Get the justice that you deserve. Don’t hesitate to contact us today at (513) 338-1890 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.