Being charged with money laundering can be challenging because prosecutors use it to seek high penalties. The U.S. Department of Treasury defines money laundering as financial transactions that criminals use to disguise the proceeds, sources and nature of their illegal activities. Essentially, making illegal money (dirty) appear legal (clean).
Anyone can be accused of this crime, not just those who handle millions of dollars. What are some of the potential defenses?
Here are three potential defenses for money laundering.
You did not get the money illegally
To be charged with money laundering, you should have obtained the money through illegal means. Thus, if you can provide evidence that shows the source of the cash was reputable, you should have a strong defense strategy.
Your actions were open
Disguise is a crucial aspect in money laundering cases. If you were acting in the open, this could be your defense. This strategy can be associated with being unaware.
For instance, you may get a profitable client in your business who may be a criminal and end up helping them with their schemes without knowing. And since you were unaware, you acted openly, perhaps by involving other parties to help you with the business, which may have caught the attention of authorities.
Although some view it as embarrassing, arguing this fact from the right angle can defend you from significant consequences of money laundering.
You acted under duress
If you were coerced by a criminal organization to help them with their schemes, you need to inform the court. This is because without the threat, you wouldn’t have committed the crime. Although you knew it was a crime, you were operating under duress.
It’s possible to defend a money laundering charge. With legal guidance, you should protect your rights and interests.