The Federal Money Laundering Control Act
Like many federal white collar crimes, money laundering is also a violation of state law — specifically the Money Laundering Act. However, because this crime so frequently crosses state lines and often involves federally regulated financial institutions, the federal government has assumed broad concurrent jurisdiction under the Money Laundering Control Act. This law makes it a federal crime to engage in a financial transaction involving the proceeds of illegal activity with the intent to:
- Promote said illegal activity
- Evade federal taxes
- Disguise the source or ownership of property
- Circumvent state or federal transaction reporting requirements
The penalty for money laundering is up to 20 years in federal prison, fines up to the greater of $500,000 or twice the value of the assets laundered, and civil penalties up to the greater of the value of the property involved or $10,000. Therefore, these charges are serious and demand the attention of an experienced federal criminal defense attorney.
Civil forfeiture for money laundering crimes
In addition to criminal and civil penalties, federal law also provides for asset forfeiture of any property involved in such a transaction. Federal courts retain the power to appoint a receiver to seize any property necessary to satisfy criminal fines, civil penalties and forfeiture judgments stemming from a conviction on federal money laundering charges. This means that if you are facing these types of charges, your freedom and a substantial portion of your assets — including your business — could be at stake.
Get help when you need to protect your freedom and livelihood