Money Laundering Attorneys in Hollywood Defending Clients Accused of Illegal Financial Activities
While money laundering is something often seen in movies or talked about in TV shows, it’s a very serious allegation. If you’ve been charged with money laundering in the state of Florida, you need to know what these charges mean, what the potential consequences are, and what you need to do to protect your rights and interests. Find out the answers to these questions and more below, including how the team at Magilligan Law can help.
Being accused of money laundering can be shocking and overwhelming, but it’s important that you act quickly in your defense, and the first step is to speak with a criminal defense attorney. Call the office of Magilligan Law to schedule a case evaluation and find out what our legal team can do for you.
What Does Being Charged With Money Laundering Mean?
Money laundering is a bit of an odd term, so it’s normal not to be entirely sure what you’re being accused of if you’re not familiar with it. In plain terms, money laundering is when someone disguises the fact that they have obtained money through illegal means by making it seem as if the money came through a legal establishment. In effect, they are “washing” the “dirty money” through legitimate business. To qualify for money laundering, the money in question can be obtained through any felony as defined by the state of Florida. This is important because some people believe that money laundering only applies to large-scale operations or major crimes like embezzlement or organized crime. In reality, money laundering charges can also stem from drug crimes or illegal gambling.
If you are charged with money laundering, it means that the prosecution believes that they have enough evidence to be able to prove in court that you committed these acts. The burden of proof for a criminal case is beyond a reasonable doubt.
Who Investigates Money Laundering Cases?
Money laundering cases are often interdepartmental, which means that multiple agencies may be involved in the investigation and prosecution. This could include detectives at the local level in Broward County as well as state investigators and even the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI investigates many white-collar crimes, including money laundering, and it may be especially interesting if the alleged crimes also involve bank fraud, wire fraud, or crimes involving the U.S. Postal Service.
The truth is that the state and federal agencies have incredible resources they can allocate to the investigation of these crimes. And that’s why it’s so important that you have experienced aggressive legal representation if you’ve been charged with these crimes. Before charges are even brought against you, you can bet that these agencies have spent hundreds of man-hours gathering evidence, conducting interviews, and doing surveillance. You need a legal team that understands how serious these allegations are and that isn’t afraid to go up against the prosecution in defending you.
What Other Charges Can Come With Money Laundering?
Money laundering by definition involves other crimes because the money in question has to be obtained through some kind of felony criminal activity to be able to qualify for the charge. This means that it’s not uncommon for those accused of money laundering to face other charges at the same time. Some of the potential other charges you could be facing include:
- Bank fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Mortgage fraud
- Trafficking of guns, drugs, or people
- Sex crimes
- Violent crimes, such as murder for hire
- Organized crime, including that charged under the RICO Act.
- Political corruption or bribery
- Receiving stolen property
As you can see by this list, these are all very serious charges, and it’s important that you understand all of your charges and what they could mean together and individually in the event of a conviction to be able to formulate a strong defense strategy. If you have questions about what you’ve been charged with or what evidence the authorities might have against you, reach out to talk with a defense attorney.
Is Money Laundering Serious?
Money laundering charges are incredibly serious, and you can face very serious penalties if you’re convicted of this felony. The potential sentence depends on how much money was involved in a period of one year, as follows:
- $300-$20,000: Third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison
- $20,000-$100,000: Second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison
- $100,000+: First-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison
You can also face substantial fines and restitution penalties, as you can be required to pay a fine equal to twice the amount of that laundered or $250,000, whichever is larger.
These penalties are also only for the money laundering charge. If there are additional criminal charges in relation to the money laundering allegations, you could face additional sentencing.
How Can I Defend Myself Against These Charges?
The best thing you can do for your defense if you’ve been accused of money laundering is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney like the team at Magilligan Law. Investigators and prosecutors have almost limitless resources at their disposal, and you need a knowledgeable legal team that knows how these cases work and how to protect your interests. The right defense strategy will depend on the circumstances of your case and other factors, such as if you have any prior convictions, but an attorney can help you weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each.
If you’ve been charged with money laundering or other white-collar crimes, don’t wait to get help. Call Magilligan Law at 954-866-8058 to speak to a member of our legal team today. We offer clients a free 15-minute case evaluation to get started.