By definition, a white collar crime is an illegal practice committed by a person in a position of trust. This is usually within a business environment with employers or employees who have abused their access to money or information. When a person has come upon a large sum of money through committing a white collar crime or another criminal offense, it can prove to be difficult to use the money they gained. Simply depositing it into a bank will cause the authorities to be suspicious and so the true source of the money must be hidden.
Whether money was gained by drug trafficking, prostitution, embezzlement, or fraud, the crime of money laundering may be added in order to use the money that was acquired. Rather than having millions of dollars waiting around to for the authorities to find, money laundering can turn dirty money into clean money. There are three main phases of a money laundering operation: placement, layering, and integration. Placement is by far the most risky step because the first thing that has to happen is depositing the money into a legitimate financial institution. Banks are required to report large transactions and it is possible that it could raise suspicions.
The second stage of the task is layering. By moving the money around, the true source of the dirty money can be confused and hidden. Depositing it into different bank accounts, investing it into different businesses, or making property investments can make the money extremely hard to trace over time. Finally is the last stage, integration. This is the last stage of the money layering where they make a deposit into a bank. Even if the money is traced, it will appear to have come from a legitimate bank investment or some other honest source.
The government takes crimes of money laundering very seriously as it is crucial in keeping organized crime and terrorist activities alive. By cutting off the source of their funding, they are essentially cutting off their entire operation. If you were accused of this offense, the penalties you could be facing are extremely harsh. In order to avoid having your reputation ruined and your freedom taken away, you need a skilled criminal lawyer on your side throughout the entire situation. We have years of experience in this area of law and will do everything in our power to protect your best interests. We also offer a free initial consultation so that you can learn exactly how we could handle your case.
To learn more, contact a Columbus criminal defense attorney on our team at The Meranda Law Firm LTD.