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What is money laundering in California?

Crime can, and has, pervaded every aspect of California society. Though, this means an individual could have his or her identity stolen, house broken into or physical well-being threatened, it also means that innocent individuals can find themselves facing criminal charges. Likewise, those individuals who were only minimally involved in a criminal offense may wind up facing excessively severe consequences. This is why it is important to be knowledgeable about the law and how it can pertain to an individual's specific set of circumstances.

This can be especially true in instances where the underlying criminal charge is based on an ongoing criminal activity. Money laundering, for example, which is a process that seeks to conceal the source or destination of illegally obtained funds, can have multiple moving parts. Typically, this scheme has three components. First, is the illegal activity itself that garners money. This money is funneled to the money launderer.

Second, the illegally obtained money is channeled through many, oftentimes complex, transactions in an attempt to obscure its source. Third, the money is returned to the launderer in an indirect way that hides its origin. With so many steps and so many transactions in play, it may be easy to see how an individual or organization can inadvertently become entangled in criminal allegations.

Money laundering is an offense that is treated quite seriously, especially since many money laundering enterprises are part of a larger scheme, most often drug or gambling-related. When facing aggressive federal authorities and prosecutors an accused individual needs to consider what he or she can do to ensure that a proper defense is put forth that seeks to protect him or her to the fullest extent possible.

Source: Law.Cornell.edu, "Money laundering: an overview," accessed on Oct. 2, 2015

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