What to Do about Money Laundering Charges in Arizona?
Using money from an illegal source (a drug business, selling piracy content) and making it appear as if the money were obtained through legitimate means is a crime known as money laundering. Money laundering charges in Arizona have serious consequences as money laundering is a criminal offense.
Arizona Money Laundering Laws
Money laundering is defined and explained in Arizona Revised Statutes 13-2317. The regulation states that an individual is committing the crime whenever they do the following:
- Acquire, transfer, transport, receive or conceal the nature of racketeering proceeds
- Make property available to somebody else, knowing that it is going to be utilized for racketeering
- Conduct a transaction, knowing that the property involved is the result of a criminal offense, especially when the transaction is carried out for the purpose of concealing the offense
- Make a false financial statement entry (when it comes to accounting, billing, creating customer records, etc.)
- Evade reporting requirements for financial transactions
- Provide false information about financial transactions
- Falsify or conceal the identity of a person in connection with any of the transactions mentioned above
In a sense, money laundering occurs whenever launderer gains financial resources through an illegal activity, puts the money through a scheme aimed at concealing the criminal act and gets the money returned back through the scheme.
Penalties for Money Laundering
The severity of the charges will depend on the exact nature of activities and the scope of the crime. According to A.R.S. 13-2317, there are three degrees of money laundering.
First degree money laundering is the most serious of all charges. This is a Class 2 felony and first-time offenders will face up to 12.5 years in prison. For sums exceeding 100,000 dollars and laundered over the course of 12 months, there will be a fine of three times the amount involved. A person will be accused of money laundering in the first degree whenever they knowingly initiate, organize or manage the scheme.
Second degree money laundering occurs whenever a person maintains an interest in the scheme. This is a Class 3 felony that carries a maximum prison sentence of 8.75 years for a first-time offender. In addition, if more than 100,000 dollars were laundered over the course of 12 months, the sum will be subjected to a fine that represents three times the amount involved.
When somebody is accused of helping such a scheme, they will be charged with third degree money laundering. This is a Class 6 felony punishable by up to six years in prison. There will be a fine of at least 2,000 dollars.
What to Do about Money Laundering Charges in Arizona
Money laundering is a serious crime that comes with life-changing consequences.
Lack of intent is one of the possible scenarios. The prosecution will have to establish the fact that the defendant was aware of the fact they were committing money laundering and they still went ahead to engage in certain activities.
Entrapment and an illegal search are also used by experienced white collar criminal attorneys to defend their clients.
Keep in mind that money laundering is a federal crime. This has been so ever since the introduction of the Money Laundering Act of 1986. Thus, the offense will be tried before a federal court. All money and property acquired through illegal means will be seized and the federal investigative system will work hard to gather the necessary evidence.
A final thing to keep in mind is that money laundering charges will often be accompanied by others. There may be drug-related charges or investigation for the commitment of other white collar crimes. Having a lawyer experienced in both drug and white collar crimes will come in handy, especially if you are charged with money laundering in the first degree.