Money made from an illegal activity is known as “dirty money.” In order to deposit the money into the bank, it must appear as legal profit or earnings, a process referred to as “laundering.” In this blog, we explore a number of ways money laundering can occur and how you could face false accusations of the crime.
Also known as smurfing, structuring is when someone takes the total amount of dirty money and breaks it into smaller, less suspicious amounts. They often purchase money orders or cashier’s checks in order to avoid suspicion from the bank. Although money orders and cashier’s checks are completely legal, depositing a large number of them with or around the same total could look suspicious. As such, if your profession requires that you deposit several cashier’s checks or money orders at a time, prepare for the possibility of an investigation for money laundering.
Similar to embezzlement, trade-based laundering typically involves altering invoice or business documents in order to disguise dirty money as business profits. Because the money has a paper trail, the bank does not suspect the profits as “dirty.” However, if your business documents show an unexplainable, substantial profit increase, the bank may see it as a red flag and investigate further.
If you deposit a large amount of cash for your strip club, car wash, or other cash-heavy business, the bank has no way of knowing if the cash is dirty or not. With no easy way to prove the legality or illegality of your profits, simply owning a cash-heavy business could falsely incriminate you of money laundering.
This occurs when the money launderers themselves own or run the financial institution. In this case, the money can move throughout the bank and is legally transferable to other banks. Because the money moves without investigation, this form of laundering can be difficult to catch. If, however, you own a financial institution that someone else uses to store their laundered funds, your entire bank could face investigation.
Gambling winnings are completely legal and typically received in cash. By purchasing chips with the dirty funds, gambling a small amount, and turning the total chips back in for cash, someone could theoretically claim all of the money as gambling winnings. As a result, banks are often suspicious of these winnings and may suspect you of money laundering.
Real Estate Laundering
Another form of laundering is through real estate. Theoretically, someone could purchase a piece of real estate property with cash, and quickly sell it. Any profits made would be associated with the sale and are completely legal. Although a legitimate business tactic, the increased use of property flipping for money-laundering purposes can make the tactic seem suspicious.
Our Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help You
Money laundering is a federal crime that can result in hefty fines and long prison sentences. If you are facing these charges, you need legal counsel experienced in handling white collar crimes. Contact Turco & Draskovich. Our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys have handled more than 250 trial cases, and have more than 20 years of combined experience. We have achieved successful results in both state and federal courts, and have the knowledge and tools to defend you.
Schedule your free consultation todaywith Turco & Draskovich: .