Minnesota Statutes § 609.497 defines money laundering as: “knowingly initiat[ing], organiz[ing], plan[ning], … or otherwise engag[ing] in a business that has as a primary or secondary purpose concealing money or property that was gained as a direct result of the commission of a felony.”
Essentially, money laundering is the process in which an individual attempts to “clean” money obtained through unlawful transactions. When a criminal “cleans” money, they are making it appear that the funds were obtained through lawful means when they were obtained through an illegal transaction. This is usually done by passing the funds through legitimate businesses and using various banks to deposit the funds.
Although a non-violent crime, money laundering is a serious crime and carries significant consequences on both the state and federal levels. Classified as a felony in Minnesota, a conviction on money laundering charges can severely impact one’s future and livelihood. It is important to note that money laundering can also be attached to several other crimes, including federal crimes. Usually, prosecutors will seek other charges besides money laundering, such as tax fraud, security fraud, and mail fraud.
Minnesota Money Laundering Attorney
If you have been accused of money laundering, your freedom and your future remain at stake so it’s within your best interest to secure legal representation as soon as possible. If you’re convicted the judge could sentence you to prison and order you to pay expensive conviction fines. To hire knowledgeable legal counsel, contact James Blumberg Law.
James Blumberg Law has extensive experience in criminal law and is prepared to advocate aggressively on your behalf. James Blumberg Law accepts money laundering cases in Rice County, Steele County, Scott County, Sibley County, Dodge County, Olmsted County, and Carver County.
Call (952) 431-7758 to schedule a free consultation with James Blumberg Law today.
- Federal Money Laundering Statutes
- Common Examples of Money Laundering
- Penalties For Money Laundering
- Under Minnesota Law
- Under Federal Law
- Defenses To Money Laundering
- Statute Of Limitations For Money Laundering
- Additional Resources
Due to the serious nature of money laundering, three federal statutes are enforced to prevent money laundering and impose severe penalties on those convicted. The three statutes are as follows:
- 18 U.S.C. § 1956 (Transactional Money Laundering Statute): This statute is intended to prevent the transfer of illegally obtained money or property that would otherwise promote crimes or evade tax obligations.
- 18 U.S.C. § 1957 (Spending Statute): The spending statute prohibits an individual from spending more than $10,000.00 in a single transaction involving a bank or other financial institution such as a loan company, car dealer, or real estate company. This statute requires the offender to know that the money was obtained
- The Bank Secrecy Act requires that a financial institution report whenever a significant amount of money (more than $10,000.00) is deposited or withdrawn on any business day. The failure to report the transaction will result in a violation of the Bank Secrecy Act.
Casino laundering is the most prevalent type of money laundering. In this type of money laundering, a money launderer will use illegally obtained funds to purchase chips at a casino. The money launderer will then return the chips for legitimate cash or have the funds placed directly into a bank account of their choice.
Real Estate Laundering
Real estate laundering is another technique used by money launderers. Using this method, the money launderer will purchase real estate with illegally obtained cash, and shortly after, the money launderer sells the real estate for legal funds.
Cash Business Laundering
Laundering money through a cash business scheme allows the business owner to hide illegally obtained money through the business because it deals solely with cash. Money launderers can slowly create fake transactions to mask the illegal nature of the funds. Some common types of cash businesses include car washes, strip clubs, and barber shops.
Money laundering is both a state and a federal crime. As a result, the consequences of money laundering may vary depending on the nature and the severity of the charges (whether they are federal or state). Generally, money laundering can result in the forfeiture of property, fines, and even prison time.
Under Minnesota law, specifically Minnesota Statutes § 609.497, a person convicted of money laundering may be sentenced to imprisonment for up to 20 years or to pay a fine of not more than $1,000,000.00 or both. Please note that the sentencing criteria depend on several factors, including the amount of money or value of the property that was laundered.
Under Federal law, anyone convicted of money laundering will receive a fine of up to $500,000 or double the amount that was laundered, whichever is greater. In addition, an individual convicted of money laundering can face up to 20 years in federal prison.
Money laundering charges are often coupled with other state and federal charges. Therefore, for anyone facing possible money laundering charges, it is crucial that they immediately hire an attorney specializing in money laundering defense.
Like other specific intent crimes, money laundering has defenses that may challenge the case of the prosecution. An effective defense is one that disproves or negates an element of the money laundering charge.
Some defenses to money laundering are as follows:
When asserting the defense of duress, a defendant states that they were forced to commit the crime. In the instance of money laundering, often, bank employees are forced by criminal organizations or individuals to act in furtherance of the scheme.
Absence of Intent
Money laundering requires knowledge that the money or property was obtained illegally. This defense negates the knowledge requirement and, thus, can rebut the prosecution’s case.
A statute of limitation is a statute that provides a deadline for bringing a legal claim after the incident occurred. The government has up to five years to bring charges on money laundering. It is important to note that the statute of limitations begins to run on the date the alleged money laundering occurred. After this deadline expires, the government cannot charge the individual because the appropriate statute of limitation has run.
Minnesota Penal Code Chapter 609 Section 497 – The Minnesota Statutes’ website describes the legal definitions of crimes and the penalties associated with a conviction. Specifically, Chapter 609 Section 497 gives the relevant information for a money laundering charge.
Minnesota Money Laundering Laws – The Findlaw website provides information regarding money laundering. It explains the legal action, penalties associated with the crime, and whether they are considered felony or misdemeanor offenses.
Apple Valley Money Laundering Lawyer | Dakota County, MN
If you were accused of money laundering, it is highly recommended that you begin defending your rights and your future with as soon as possible. Apple Valley defense lawyer James Blumberg at James Blumberg Law is passionate about representing clients like you. He can obtain a reduction or dismissal of charges.
To schedule an initial consultation with James Blumberg Law today, call (952) 431-7758. James Blumberg Law serves clients throughout Dakota County, including Apple Valley, Eagan, Lakeville, Burnsville, Rosemount, Farmington, Inver Grove Heights and West St. Paul.