Money laundering is a serious criminal offense in the eyes of federal law enforcement officials. Although a federal offense, the crime is prosecuted at both the state and federal level. Criminal charges related to money laundering are serious, and suggests other criminal activities.
If you were arrested or believe that you’re under investigation for money laundering our federal defense lawyers are ready to help you. You can reach out to our legal team by calling 281-280-0100.
The Crime of Money Laundering Explained
Money laundering, in short, is the process of cleaning up dirty money. Federal law defines money laundering as the process of executing transactions for the purpose of hiding the origin or destination of monies and/or valuable property. The best way to define money laundering; the process of making ill-gotten gains appear legal.
Money laundering can include securities fraud, offshore investments, fraud, bribery, the drug trade and a whole host of other unlawful activities. Money laundering is almost always a supplementary crime to a larger criminal operation. From billion dollar drug cartels using independent currency exchange outlets to exchange dollars, to U.S. corporations and criminals looking to evade taxation and detection, money laundering takes on different forms for different reasons as a result of different types of criminal operations.
Persons accused of money laundering by the United States’ Attorney’s Office can expect a swift pursuit of conviction for the crime that created the need for the laundering of money, in addition to the money laundering crime itself, and these charges will stack. Considering the likelihood that the offender will be charged for each particular offense, you can see how prison sentencing can penetrate the century mark.
If you think you’re being investigated or will be indicted by a federal grand jury for money laundering, contact The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates direct, by phone, at 281-280-0100.
Actions That “Can” Qualify as Money Laundering
- Maintaining an interest in criminal proceeds.
- Concealing, profiting from, transferring, and transporting profits gained from criminal activity.
- Having any form of involvement with the proceeds from criminal operations.
- Investing ill-gotten gains, making an investment in the money or property, or offering to accept it.
- Financing any operation related to the laundering of money.
Criminal Penalties for Money Laundering
Depending on the circumstance and the extent of the criminal operation, a money laundering offense could be prosecuted by either the State of Texas or the United States of America. Persons accused of money laundering in Texas, and subsequently convicted, can expect to face penalties within the sentencing guidelines listed below.
- Cases involving $1,500.00 & $20,000.00 are charged as State Jail Felony offenses. Punishment ranges from 180 days to 2 years state jail with a fine of up to $10,000.00.
- Cases involving $20,000.00 & $100,000.00 are charged as 3rd Degree Felony offenses. Punishment ranges from 2-10 years TDCJ with a fine up to $10,000.00.
- Cases involving $100,000.00 & $200,000.00 are charged as 2nd Degree Felony offenses. Punishment ranges from 2-20 years TDCJ with a fine up to $10,000.00.
- Cases involving $200,000.00 or more are charged as 1st Degree Felony offenses. Punishment ranges from 5-99 years TDCJ with a fine up to $10,000.00.
In general, the severity of the penalty is based on the nature of the offense and the amount of money involved. If a person is convicted by a federal court for any form of money laundering they can be sentenced to a prison term of up to 20 years with maximum fine of $500,000.00.
SPECIAL NOTE: The statute of limitations for prosecuting a person for money laundering is 5 years. To put it another way, the federal government must indict the suspect within 5 years of the alleged offense.
Need Our Legal Expertise on Your Case? Call Us!
The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates is respected. We Fight to Win.
As frequent expert guest and commentator on various mainstream news outlets like FOX & CNN, Houston federal criminal defense attorney Tad Nelson is nationally respected, recognized by the State of Texas as being one of few Board Certified® criminal law specialists, and locally accepted as a go-to criminal defense lawyer for some of the toughest cases. When your case is under the care of Atty. Tad Nelson, your case is being handled by a lawyer who is known to best his opponents in the court of law.
Former Special Asst. Federal Prosecutor Atty. Amber Spurlock is other crucial half of our federal criminal defense team. As our lead federal criminal defense lawyer, Atty. Amber Spurlock, a former U.S. Air Force Captain, knows what it means to be dedicated to the successful completion of a campaign and brings the spirit of warfare to our side of the bench for the benefit of our clients.
If you need our expertise on your side, call our Houston office at 281-280-0100, or our Galveston office at 409-765-5614.