Facing Charges of Money Laundering in the State of Washington

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Feb 25

Lewis & Laws

Facing Charges of Money Laundering in the State of Washington

by Lewis & Laws

Facing Charges of Money Laundering in the State of Washington

When the proceeds of a crime are disguised and integrated into a legitimate financial system, it is known as money laundering. It can be problematic for those who have engaged in illegal activities to use the money garnered from these activities because they cannot explain where the money came from without it being tied to a crime. Once those monies are laundered, however, it can be difficult to distinguish them from “legitimate” funds. Money laundering is typically broken down into four stages:

  • The underlying crime
  • The initial entry of the illicit money into the financial system, known as placement
  • The process of separating the funds from their source, known as layering
  • The return of the money to the person who committed the underlying crime to a legitimate source, known as integration

The Role of Banks in Money Laundering

Laundering money almost always requires that the funds pass through a bank—or a series of banks. If a bank questions the legitimacy of monies, they must file a suspicious activity report. There have been a number of high-profile scandals regarding money laundering, most notably, HSBC, which admitted to failing to monitor over $200 trillion in wire transactions between U.S. and Mexico subsidiaries.

The Necessity of Solid Legal Representation Following Money Laundering Charges

Of course, a huge bank being charged with money laundering and an individual being charged with money laundering are two very different things. If you have been charged with money laundering in the state of Washington, you are facing very serious charges.

It is important to know that to be found guilty of violating Washington’s money laundering laws you must have had knowledge that the transferred property was illegally obtained. In other words, if you received a gift which was purchased with laundered money—and you had no knowledge of the laundered money—you would not be in violation of Washington money laundering laws.

Seattle Penalties for Money Laundering

In the state of Washington, money laundering is a Class B felony, therefore a conviction could bring penalties of up to ten years in prison and a maximum fine of up to $20,000. The commission of money laundering can also bring civil penalties as well, usually twice the value of the proceeds involved in the case and the costs of bringing the lawsuit. Quite often, money laundering is charged as a federal offense, falling under federal sentencing guidelines. The penalties for money laundering are often tied to the underlying crime and its penalties.

Legal Defenses to the Money Laundering Charges

If you are facing charges of money laundering, it is essential that you speak to a Seattle criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible. There are a number of legal defenses to charges of money laundering which your attorney may be able to use on your behalf. Perhaps the authorities obtained the evidence against you illegally or violated technical evidentiary rules when gathering the evidence. There may be no solid evidence of the underlying criminal activity, therefore no foundation to support charges of money laundering.

Your defense will be based on the specific circumstances surrounding the alleged crime and the factors surrounding your arrest, however it is important to remember that you do not want to face these charges alone. You need legal experience on your side, as well as an attorney who will fight aggressively for your rights and your freedom.  Having experience on your side can truly make a difference in the outcome of your charges of money laundering.

Are you Facing Charges of Money Laundering? Contact the Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers at Lewis & Laws, PLLC.

If you have been arrested and charged with a white collar crime, such as money laundering, in Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Everett, or anywhere in the state of Washington, the consequences could destroy your entire future. Contacting an experienced Seattle criminal defense lawyer is the key to winning the battle and fighting these serious charges. Let the experienced criminal defense lawyers at Lewis & Laws, PLLC fight aggressively for you and your future. Our lawyers have successfully defended clients in Seattle, Bellevue, and Kirkland. Contact us today at 206.209.0608 or fill out our online contact form to get more information or to get a free case review!

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