Whether you got charged in Texas Federal Courts for participating in a complicated money laundering scheme that involved millions in cash, half a dozen offshore accounts and multiple steps — or just got involved with money laundering charges involving drug transactions — you may need a sophisticated federal attorney to defend yourself against the charges.
An array of international, federal, state and local law enforcement organizations can prosecute money laundering as a crime. Anti-money laundering institutions (at home and abroad) include:
* The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF)
* International Monetary Fund * World Bank * United Nations * Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
* Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
* Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
* The State Department * The Department Of Justice (DOJ)
Whether you got arrested for money laundering related to a simple drug crime in West Texas or a complex international scheme, prosecutors will strive to trace and reconstruct what you and your associates did. Most money laundering schemes operate over an extended period of time and involve numerous transactions.
Usually the first step is “placement,” during which the launderer deposits cash into a bank or other financial institution. In the United States, banks must report deposits in excess of $10,000 to the government. So launderers typically break up large sums into smaller installments when depositing them.
The next stage, technically known as “layering,” essentially allows the launderer to change the form of the money and remove it from its illicit source. For instance, the money may be transferred to an offshore account in the Cayman Islands, Singapore, Hong Kong, or another place where anonymous banking is allowed/encouraged. Or the money may be invested in a front, such as a “shell company,” a business that looks like a legitimate business but really exists for the sole purpose of laundering money. Alternatively, the money can be funneled into a reputable business — such as a car wash or bar — and then cleaned that way.
Lastly, the laundered money gets “integrated” back into the legitimate economy. For instance, the money funneled into an account in the Caymans may be invested in a legitimate business and then transferred back into an above-the-board bank account in the US.
United States Code Sections 1956 and 1957 (Title 18) define money laundering as a federal offense and stipulate that those convicted can face serious prison time, as well as high fines and other penalties.
To defend yourself against charges of drug money laundering in West Texas, consult with an attorney who is Board-Certified in criminal law and who understands how to construct a potent defense on your behalf.