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How is money laundered?

White collar crimes are different from other forms of crimes in that they can often occur in very subtle ways. These are crimes that frequently involve accounting ledgers and bank accounts rather than guns or knives. Money laundering is one such white collar crime that is taken very seriously and could even result in federal charges being levied against an accused party.

But what constitutes money laundering? Fundamentally, money laundering is a three step process wherein, first, money is obtained through illegal means. Next, the money is given to a launderer who conceals it through a series of financial transactions. Finally, after the money is sent through these transactions, it comes back to the launderer with the appearance of having been earned legitimately.

One way to launder money is to utilize a shell company. Shell companies do not carry out any real function or hold significant assets. They may work at disguising money by generating fake invoices which are attributed to customers. Illicit cash is put into the shell company’s accounts in the amount of the fake invoices. Typically, a shell company is a business that routinely conducts cash transactions. It is harder for the government to trace the source of money paid in cash.

If you are ever charged with money laundering, remember you are considered innocent until proven guilty. The burden of proof is squarely on the prosecution and there are federal statutes in place that define the criteria necessary to garner a conviction.

A Louisiana white collar crimes attorney may be of service in assessing the specifics of your case. The attorney can help you form a defense that places the onus on the prosecution to demonstrate that their case merits conviction. The attorney can also go over various legal options, which may lead to you receiving your best possible outcome.

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