Money Laundering Sentence Guidelines (Defense & Penalties)

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London (Parliament Politics Magazine) – Money Laundering is a serious crime. The person caught in the act has to experience serious consequences. The penalties for money laundering can be extremely harsh. They are also driven by a variety of factors. There is also a mandatory minimum sentence for money laundering charges. A person caught in the act can also look for a defense against the penalties. In this article, we will be talking about the money laundering sentence guidelines.

What Is Money Laundering?

Money laundering is a process in which a person conceals the origin of money. The money is often obtained by doing illicit activities such as drug trafficking and corruption. Money laundered often comes from embezzlement or gambling. Criminals who launder money change the origin of the money and turn it into a legitimate source. The act of money laundering is a crime in many jurisdictions. It is a key operation of organized crime.

Criminal Penalties For Money Laundering 

There is no mandatory minimum sentence that is associated with money laundering. The guideline ranges for money laundering are high. Government officials in various countries have a harsh view of money laundering. The consequences of this act can be harsh.

1. Incarceration and Fines 

A person convicted of money laundering can be to up to 20 years of incarceration and fines. You might have to pay a fine of around $500,000 or twice the value of the property that is said to be involved in the transaction.

2. Several Criminal Charges 

Those who are caught in the act of doing money laundering offenses might be tangled up in other related criminal charges. For example, 18 U.S.C. Section 1957 has imposed a penalty of 10 years of incarceration if you have deposited or spent from an activity that violates U.S.C. Section 1956.

3. Likelihood Of Receiving Maximum Sentence 

When someone is charged with money laundering they are informed about the maximum potential penalty. They might not typically receive it. The likelihood of receiving the maximum sentence for money laundering is less likely nonexistent.

4. Sentencing Factors

One of the first factors that are taken into account is to what extent the individual is involved in the case. There are some situations where an individual knows that the source of the money is illegal, however, they might not know the specific illegality. If an attorney convinces a prosecutor that the client doesn’t know the source was drug trafficking, they could prevent a pretty onerous enhancement from taking effect.

Money Laundering Defense

A person caught up in money laundering can have serious consequences. The loss of business and professional reputation, or having a criminal record can lead to money laundering. You must be fully aware of the risks that are associated with money laundering or terrorist financing. Here is how you can attain a money laundering defense:

1.Speak To A Specialist 

Seeking specialist legal advice could be the perfect choice to get a defense. There is a difference between a drawn-out prosecution and a discreet investigation. If you have hired a professional attorney, then he might convince the judge to consider all the factors to reach an appropriate sentence. You must consult a money laundering lawyer who can argue on the behalf of the accused. He must mitigate the sentence as much as possible.

2. Screening Clients 

Screening clients for anti-Money-Laundering (AML) checks takes days. This can lead to a poor client experience and can result in low customer acquisitions. This can also cost your business time and money. 

The staff also has to collect documents. This is the case with many regulated businesses, as there is low adoption of LegalTech software. It is a great idea to screen your business if you don’t want to get caught up in a money laundering case.

3. AML Software 

The financial services industry has advanced a lot. The AML software is abundant, and businesses have created in-house tools which allow them to detect and prevent fraud. This software has helped in stopping money laundering activity.

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4. Stay In Touch With The Legal Sector 

There are hundreds of money laundering cases in the legal sector. This is why the legal sector is slow to adopt tools that are proven to save time and money. These sectors must be heavily regulated as fraud has become more sophisticated. 

If you are caught up in a money laundering case, then it is best to stay in contact with a criminal lawyer at all times. This will prevent you from landing into serious trouble related to money laundering.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.