Money Laundering: Common Defense Strategies to Ensure Freedom
Money laundering is a criminal offense involving the illegal use of money that was the product of crime. These charges are often filed in cases involving organized crime. The term “laundering” refers to the way in which “dirty” money is cycled through legitimate businesses in order to remove the links to crime.
For example, an organized crime ring that has made a great deal of money from selling drugs can use an accountant to invest that money in a legitimate business. In this way, the money will be made to seem like capital being used to fund a business enterprise.
Money Laundering Defense Strategies
In order to convict someone on charges of money laundering, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intentionally and knowingly attempted to conceal the origin or destination of money derived from crime.
This isn’t an easy thing to do and a trial will create multiple opportunities for a defense to be prepared. A legal defense in a case like this can take many forms and focus on many different aspects of the prosecution’s arguments.
A few common strategies for a legal defense in money laundering cases:
- No evidence of criminal intent
- Defendant was forced or threatened into committing the crime
- No evidence of hiding money
- No evidence that money was derived from a crime
If the defense attorney can successfully create an argument based on one or more of the above arguments, the prosecution may not be able to prove the guilt of the defendant.
How These Strategies Work
To get a conviction, the prosecution must have solid evidence that the defendant intended to commit a crime and knew what the outcome of his actions would be. To counteract this claim, the defense could argue that the prosecution doesn’t have any proof of this.
For example, if the defendant was an accountant and is accused of investing illegal funds, the defense could argue that the defendant had no reason to suspect that the money was coming from an illegal source.
In another example, the defense could argue that the defendant was approached by armed thugs and was forced to comply with their requests. If the defense can submit evidence of coercion or force, such as a threatening letter or recorded phone call, the charges may be reduced or dropped.
Finally, the prosecution must prove that the money that was invested was actually derived from a crime. The fact that a known criminal invested some money is not proof that the invested funds came from an illegal source. If the prosecution doesn’t have solid evidence of this fact, the case may be dropped.
Hire an Attorney Today
Money laundering is a serious crime in the state of Texas. Those accused of laundering money should hire a criminal defense attorney before it’s too late. The first step is scheduling a free legal consultation session, so you can plan a legal strategy. Allow James Alston to review your case today.