Addressing an accusation of money laundering
If you are accused of money laundering, it can carry serious penalties. Money laundering involves making illegal funds look as though they came from a legitimate source.
Money laundering overview
Money laundering usually involves depositing money into a bank or purchasing an asset in a way that makes it difficult to find the origin of illegally sourced funds. This could involve transferring money into various accounts or buying assets in several states. Then, the money launderer purchases lawful items or pays expenses with the money.
It may take several forms, including keeping money in offshore bank accounts, creating a company that appears to be legitimate but is not, also called a shell company, or depositing small amounts in several accounts to avoid financial reporting thresholds.
In California, you may face a variety of penalties for money laundering, which can depend on the amount of money involved and whether you have a criminal history. One of the most common penalties is a fine, which is usually a percentage of the laundered amount, or a prison sentence of several years, or both. These serious penalties are meant to deter this crime.
If you are convicted of money laundering, the court may require you to pay restitution to the person or entity that was impacted, or it may impose probation which involves monitoring and compliance with court-ordered conditions.
In addition to criminal penalties, you could face reputational harm which can impact you personally and professionally, making it difficult to find housing or a job.