Money laundering is a federal offense that is defined as the unlawful transfer of money that flows from racketeering or some other illegal sources into legitimate channels so that the original illegal source of the money cannot be traced.
The elements of money laundering are as follows:
In order to establish that the defendant is guilty of money laundering, the prosecutor must prove the above-listed elements. In addition, the prosecutor must show by direct or circumstantial evidence that the defendant knew that the property involved was derived from an illegal source. The prosecutor is not required to show that the defendant knew of the specific offense from which the proceeds were derived.
The prosecutor must also show that the defendant initiated, concluded or participated in the initiation or conclusion of the financial transaction. A transaction is defined as a loan, sale or pledge, or with respect to a financial institution, a deposit, withdrawal or other transfer or exchange of currency. A financial transaction includes the following elements:
If the defendant is convicted of money laundering, he may be sentenced to 20 years imprisonment and he may be fined. The fine may be $500,000 or twice the sum involved in the illegal transaction, whichever is the greater amount.
Copyright 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.