When individuals are facing allegations of white-collar crimes, a lot is typically at stake. Carefully built careers can be ruined, and rebuilding one’s reputation may seem impossible. It is not uncommon for prosecutors to add charges of money laundering to just about any other charge in order to increase penalties. A South Carolina man recently entered a guilty plea on money laundering charges related to drug trafficking.
According to court documents, the man allegedly used the virtual currency Bitcoin to buy drugs, such as psychotropic mushrooms and marijuana, on the Internet. The investigation was handled by the Internal Revenue Service, and the special agent who was in charge said Bitcoin is used as currency in many financial crimes. It is also claimed that the purchases were made from illegal websites that are not accessible through regular search engines such as Yahoo or Google.
The drugs were allegedly delivered to the defendant’s residence, where he then sold the drugs for cash. When his house was searched, $38,000 in cash and illegal drugs were reportedly found and confiscated. The man is awaiting sentencing, and apparently faces a possible fine of up to $500,000 and may be incarcerated for 20 years.
Although this man pleaded guilty to the charges against him, others may want to prove their innocence. A skilled criminal defense attorney who focuses on white-collar crimes, and specifically money laundering, may be a valuable asset when defending such charges. A money laundering charge can have a severe impact on the outcome of the case, and an experienced South Carolina attorney will thoroughly investigate and challenge the charges brought by a prosecutor. A successful defense may reduce or avoid prison time and, in some cases, prevent asset forfeiture.
Source: courthousenews.com, “S.C. Man Ran Drug Trade With Bitcoin, ‘Deep Web'”, Dan Mccue, May 1, 2015