Money Laundering Charges in Orange County
Fight Your White Collar Crime with an Attorney
Money laundering is a type of
white collar crime that involves hiding the true source of money so that it appears to come
from another source. When money is obtained through a white collar crime
such as fraud or tax evasion, or from another type of offense such as
drug trafficking or prostitution, that money cannot be sent without raising
suspicions and attracting the wrong type of attention. In order to be
able to spend the illegally-procured funds, the individual is forced to
first launder the money. So what exactly is money laundering? According to the
California Penal Code §186.10, money laundering is using or attempting to use a financial institution
in order hide the proceeds of criminal activities.
What is money laundering?
It is one thing to say you are going to hide the true source of money,
but this is easier said than done. Law enforcement has the means and resources
necessary to track where money came from and is constantly on the lookout
for instances of this crime. Money launderers generally follow a three-step
outline when hiding money. The first and most risky step is called placement.
During placement, the "dirty" money is deposited into a legitimate
financial institution. The reason this step is dangerous is because banks
are required to report when a large amount of cash has been deposited
and authorities track suspect transactions.
If placement is successful, then the next stage of the process can begin.
Layering involves moving the money around so that if the source of the
money ever was investigated, authorities would not be able to find the
original source, even if they looked back several steps. Examples of layering
include large purchases (real estate, boats, planes, art, and jewelry),
transfers between bank accounts, withdrawals and then opening another
bank account, and more. The main goal of these transfers is to make the
history of the money as complicated and difficult to sort through as possible.
Step three of money laundering is integration. The end goal of money laundering
is to allow the money to reenter the economy as a legal commodity. One
way that money launderers will do this is by investing a large amount
of money into a fake business. They may also sell a large purchase which
they had previously bought. If someone investigating the deposit or sale
starts to trace the money back, the layering process should have adequately
covered their tracks.
California Law, Money Laundering & Criminal Defense Representation
As mentioned before, money laundering is illegal under California law.
Not only does the Penal Code give information regarding the definition
of the offense, but also of the possible penalties you could be facing.
Those convicted of this offense could be placed in county jail for up
to one year as well as fined up to $250,000. If twice the value of the
property stolen was greater than the fine, then this will replace the
fine. Those who are accused of money laundering for a second or subsequent
time could be fined up to $500,000 or five times the amount that was stolen.
If you have questions about money laundering or another white collar crime
in California, you should
contact our team at The Law Office of Bruce C. Bridgman. We have over 30 years of experience
in handling these types of cases and you can be confident that we will
fight aggressively to defend you. With a former Deputy District Attorney
on our side, you can have peace of mind knowing that we have what it takes
to defend you. To learn more, call our office today or fill out our
free case evaluation.