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Dallas Money Laundering Defense Lawyer: What is Money Laundering?
Money laundering is the process of taking cash received in transactions that are against the law (drug sales, manufacturing, distribution; embezzlement; fraud; gambling; black market sales of stolen goods; etc.) and getting that money into the financial system or marketplace where it can be used to buy things.
Money laundering involves taking the cash or illegal funds in the case of embezzlement and moving the funds so that its true ownership is kept secret. A common example of money laundering involves a drug dealer who deals in cash and needs to take lots of small bills and convert them into something bigger that he or she can use in the marketplace without suspicion.
This is done by all sorts of methods. Money can be moved through various accounts, even between various countries, as it is “cleaned” or “laundered.” Fake businesses can be used. Phony names can be created. Once the money is laundered, then the true owner of that money can use it to buy things like cars, houses, or large ticket items needed for future business (small planes, trucks, etc.).
New and innovative ways to launder money are being created all the time; however, the federal government gives the following things they consider to be signs that someone is trying to move cash obtained in illegal operations into legitimate market flow, or engaged in money laundering:
- Financial Structuring
- Payments to vendor made in cash by unrelated third parties
- Payments to vendor made via wire transfers from unrelated third parties
- Payments to vendor made via checks, bank drafts or postal money orders from unrelated third parties
- False reporting, such as commodity missclassification, commodity over-valuation or under-valuation
- Carousel transactions (the repeated importation and exportation of the same high-value commodity)
- Commodities being traded do not match the business involved
- Unusual shipping routes or transshipment points
- Packaging inconsistent with commodity or shipping method
Charges of Money Laundering Often Filed Alongside Other Felony Charges
Here in Texas, both state and federal prosecutors often file charges of money laundering in tandem with other felony charges such as felony drug crime charges, or tax fraud allegations, or charges of various kinds of fraud (health care fraud; bank fraud; credit card fraud; etc.). Money laundering cases are complicated cases for both the prosecution and the defense, filled with lots of paperwork and covering long time periods. Expert testimony is often needed to explain the detailed, complicated fact scenarios that the government is alleging to be a money laundering operation.
Defendants in Money Laundering Face Serious Repercussions: Imprisonment, Restitution
Money laundering systems involve the transfer of money, of course, and this usually ends up with professionals, executives, and even corporations being accused of violating the law. Professional reputations will be threatened and even the existence of being charged can taint and damage a career or livelihood that has taken years to achieve.
Accordingly, it is very important for anyone suspicious that they may be facing a money laundering allegation to get an experienced criminal defense attorney on board as soon as possible. This includes any pre-trial criminal investigation of operations by federal or state authorities.
Texas Money Laundering Defense Lawyer
As a former prosecutor turned criminal defense lawyer with over 150 jury trials defending clients against charges brought by district attorneys and U.S. federal prosecutors in Dallas County, Tarrant County, and elsewhere in the State of Texas, Board Certified Criminal Lawyer Michael Lowe not only brings his years of experience to each case, he also dedicates 100% of his law practice to the defense of those being accused of a crime under Texas or federal law.
With a streamlined law firm that coordinates its efforts to give each client the personal attention that they need and deserve when fighting against the government and the possibility of jail time, fines, permanent marks on public records, prison incarceration, loss of licensure, loss of jobs, absence from family events and everyday living, Michael Lowe maintains an efficient and excellent criminal trial practice that is ready to help you or your loved ones in your defense against criminal charges from pre-arrest investigation to post-trial appeals.
To discuss your case in a free and completely confidential consultation, please contact Dallas Board Certified Criminal Lawyer Michael Lowe today.