Federal Crimes

Money Laundering

Criminal Defense for Federal Crimes in Houston

Are you facing allegations of a federal crime Houston? The Law Offices of Billy Skinner is the place to turn. At the firm, our team is exclusively dedicated to criminal law. When you work with us, you can have peace of mind knowing that a skilled legal professional is on your side. We strive to give each of our clients the care that his / her case deserves and are committed to helping people when they need it the most.

As Houston criminal defense lawyers, we believe that everyone should have access to a high-quality defense attorney. To learn more, speak with a member of our legal team today or visit our page about our seven reasons to choose Billy Skinner.

What is Money Laundering?

According to Cornell University Law School, money laundering occurs when an individual or organization tries to conceal the source of illegal money by passing it through a variety of complicated financial transactions.

How Money Laundering Works:

The money laundering process can be broken down into three stages. First, the illegal activity that garners the money places it in the launderer’s hands. Second, the launderer passes the money through a complex scheme of transactions to obscure who initially received the money from the criminal enterprise. Third, the scheme returns the money to the launderer in an obscure and indirect way.

During the first stage of money laundering, the organization or individual illegally obtains money. For example, tax evasion could be the source of illicit funds. Then, the money is “laundered” through an intricate string of transactions until its origin is untraceable.

Money Laundering can involve shell companies. In this case, one could create a fake business, deposit the money into the business, and create a series of fraudulent invoices to account for the funds. These transactions make the money appear legitimate.

The Bank Secrecy Act of 1970

Congress passed the Bank Secrecy Act in 1970. This act requires banks to monitor and report any transactions that involve more than $10,000. Sixteen years later, Congress passed the Money Laundering control Act of 1986, which made money laundering a federal offense. In 2001, the government expanded its pursuit of money laundering when it passed the USA Patriot Act. In an attempt to fight terrorism, this demanded a broader scope of financial institutions to report suspicious activity to the government.

What are the penalties for money laundering?

The legal penalties for money laundering can include:

  • 20 years in prison
  • A $500,000 fine
  • A fine, twice the value of the laundered money

Additionally, individuals who knowingly participate in a money laundering scheme may be subject to similar penalties. According to 18 USC § 1956, a multitude of crimes may be used to acquire illicit funds. Some of these are:

  • Embezzlement
  • Selling illegal firearms
  • Threatening a U.S. official or his / her family
  • Drug trafficking
  • Smuggling
  • Bribery
  • Espionage
  • Conspiring to kill or kidnap
  • Fraud

Contact the Law Offices of Billy Skinner Today

If you or a loved one was arrested or investigated for money laundering, let the federal crimes defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Billy Skinner help you avoid a conviction. Contact our office via email or reach us by phone at (713) 600-7777. We provide 24 / 7 support for our clients and are willing to go the extra mile to produce an aggressive and effective case strategy to fight for your freedom. If you need a lawyer who is passionate about your case and truly cares, speak with a member of the Law Offices of Billy Skinner today.