Federal Money Laundering and Structuring Defense Attorneys
Defending the legal rights of people accused of federal offenses related to money laundering and structuring
Money laundering is an offense in which people try to “clean” money obtained from illegal activities so that law enforcement cannot trace the illegal money to them. The similar offense of money structuring involves breaking large financial transactions in many smaller transactions to avoid federal reporting requirements. In both cases, the act at issue attempts to circumvent federal laws that allow the government to track financial transactions and the source of income. Both offenses can result in significant legal penalties, including significant fines, asset forfeiture, restitution, and jail time. Consequently, if you are facing allegations of either money laundering or structuring, it is extremely important to retain legal counsel as soon as possible.
Contact our federal criminal defense attorneys today to schedule a consultation by calling Koffsky & Felsen, LLC at (203) 327-1500.
Common examples of money laundering and structuring schemes
There are a number of ways in which money can be laundered or transactions can be structured that can violate federal law. Some of the most common are discussed below:
- Money laundering through the purchase of real estate – One of the more common ways in which individuals may attempt to launder money is to purchase real estate through an LLC. An LLC is not subject to the same reporting requirements and tax obligations as a corporation but provides the owner with liability protection. A person attempting to launder their money this way may purchase the real estate through an LLC using illegal funds and immediately sell it once the initial transaction is completed. The resulting proceeds now seem to have come from a legitimate source rather than illegal activities and make it more difficult for law enforcement to trace the money to the illegal activity.
- Electronic money laundering – The rise of alternative financial services and currencies such as Bitcoin, PayPal, Dwolla, and payments made through mobile phones has made transferring money outside of the traditional banking system a relatively easy process. By engaging in these types of transactions, people who are attempting to launder money can mask the original illicit source of the income making it more difficult to trace the money back to their illegal activity.
- Structuring – Under federal law, transactions of $10,000 or more must be reported by the financial institution handling the transaction. Structuring occurs when someone attempts to avoid this requirement by breaking transactions down in several smaller transactions. Importantly, it makes no difference whether the money comes from a completely legitimate source, nor does it matter whether taxes are paid on the money in question. To be charged, it is simply enough that you allegedly attempted to avoid reporting requirements. Generally speaking, however, structuring usually occurs as an attempt to launder money or avoid paying taxes.
Find out how a Connecticut money laundering and structuring defense lawyer can help protect your rights
Federal laws relating to money laundering and structuring laws set out harsh penalties if you are convicted of these offenses. For this reason, it is essential to discuss your situation with an experienced defense lawyer if you have been charged with money laundering or other financial crimes. Our attorneys devote their practice to vigorously defending the rights of people accused of criminal offenses. We take a rigorous 360-degree approach to defending the rights of individuals facing Connecticut criminal charges. To schedule a consultation, call Koffsky & Felsen, LLC in Connecticut today at 203-327-1500.