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Charged with money laundering? Here's what you need to know

When it comes to white collar crimes, many people overlook the seriousness of money laundering. In short, anti-money laundering laws are in place to fight against the transfer of money that comes from criminal activity, such as drug transactions, terrorism and organized crime.

There is a lot of gray area in regards to money laundering laws, due largely to the fact that these have not been in existence very long. Generally speaking, many of the laws that are in place today were first passed in the 1970's as a means of combating organized crime.

For example, the Bank Secrecy Act is comprised of several laws that require financial institutions to share transaction information with the United States Department of Treasury.

In short, these laws require that the institutions report any cash transaction in excess of $10,000. Along with this, the financial institutions have an obligation to report any suspicious transactions to the government.

Taking this one step further, the Money Laundering Control Act of 1986 took things to the next level. With this, individuals are prohibited from engaging in transactions associated with proceeds of certain types of crimes.

Even with all of these laws in place, it goes without saying that there are many questions regarding the laws associated with money laundering. For this reason, it's possible for a person to be charged with a crime, even though he or she did nothing wrong.

In the event that you're charged with this serious crime, it's imperative to learn why and then focus on the strategy you can as a defense at trial.

Source: FindLaw, "Money Laundering," accessed Nov. 08, 2016

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