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Money Laundering Federal Defense Lawyers

By Spodek Law Group | February 13, 2023
(Last Updated On: August 2, 2023)

Last Updated on: 2nd August 2023, 01:09 am

Facing Federal Money Laundering Charges? Here’s What You Need to Know

The Seriousness of Money Laundering Charges

Money laundering is a heinous federal crime that is commonly associated with organized crime, fraudulent activities, embezzlement, drug trafficking, and other white-collar crimes. If you have been indicted for money laundering, you could be facing a plethora of severe consequences that could impact your life in various ways.

The penalties for a money laundering conviction include up to 20 years in a federal prison, hefty fines, and the forfeiture or seizure of your assets. In other words, if you’re convicted of this crime, you could lose everything you’ve worked hard for and spend the prime years of your life behind bars.

Why You Need an Experienced Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you’re under investigation or have been asked to answer questions related to money laundering, it’s imperative that you hire an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights. A skilled lawyer will have a thorough understanding of the federal anti-money laundering laws and how to apply them to your case, giving you the best chance to fight back against the charges.

Money laundering is a specialized area of law, and defending clients against this type of crime requires a lawyer with experience handling federal criminal cases. The federal criminal defense law firm at Eisner Gorin LLP has represented numerous defendants charged with all types of money laundering schemes and other white-collar crimes in California and federal criminal courts throughout the United States.

A Description of Money Laundering

Money laundering is the act of disguising the source, amount, or destination of illegally obtained money. Criminals use various methods, such as bank transfers or transactions with legitimate businesses, to make the money appear “clean” and legitimate. The primary goal of money laundering is to avoid criminal investigations and prosecution for the underlying crime.

There are three main stages of money laundering: placement, layering, and integration. The placement stage involves discreetly placing the illicit funds into a legitimate financial institution. In the layering stage, complex financial transactions move the money around to disguise the source and make it challenging to trace. Finally, in the integration stage, the laundered money is withdrawn from what appears to be a legal, legitimate account.

Money Laundering Statutes and Other Crimes

Money laundering is a federal crime that can carry a substantial prison sentence, with two main statutes: 18 U.S.C. § 1956 and 18 U.S.C. § 1957. The former penalizes anyone who conducts a financial transaction using money from unlawful activity or knows that property involved in a financial transaction comes from proceeds of illegal activity. The latter makes it illegal to engage in a monetary transaction using property derived from unlawful activity worth over $10,000.

It’s crucial to note that money laundering is often linked to other federal crimes, such as mortgage fraud, securities fraud, credit card fraud, bank fraud, drug trafficking, cryptocurrency crimes, counterfeit goods, or other fraud crimes. It’s usually a complex and time-consuming federal offense that involves taking illegally obtained money and making it appear as if it came from legitimate sources.

Fighting Money Laundering Charges

To beat a money laundering case, our federal defense lawyers will challenge the prosecutor’s evidence and provide a different story to create reasonable doubt. Money laundering is a “specific intent” crime, meaning you must have intended to commit the act and achieve a specific result to be found guilty.

Money Laundering: A Thrilling Overview

Money laundering is not just an ordinary criminal offense. It’s a fascinating crime that involves a series of secretive and deceptive steps to transform “dirty” money into “clean” money. The whole process requires a great deal of creativity and intelligence to successfully execute. Let’s take a closer look at the crime and some of its thrilling aspects.

What is Money Laundering?

Money laundering is the act of taking illegally obtained money and making it appear to have been acquired through legitimate means. This is done to evade law enforcement and conceal the origins of the money. The laundering process typically involves three stages:

  1. Placement
  2. Layering
  3. Integration

The Three Stages of Money Laundering

Placement is the first stage of money laundering. It involves depositing illegal money into the financial system through different means such as bank deposits, money orders, or currency exchanges. This is often done to avoid detection by law enforcement agencies.

Layering is the second stage and involves converting or moving the illegally obtained money to different accounts, businesses, or even countries. This stage is meant to create complexity and confusion in the trail of the money so that its origin can’t be traced back to its illegal source.

Integration is the final stage of money laundering. Here, the illegally obtained money is used to purchase assets or make legitimate transactions. The goal is to make the money appear to be acquired through lawful means, and this makes it difficult to trace the money back to its illegal source.

Common Money Laundering Methods

Money laundering schemes can be quite sophisticated and involve different strategies. Some of the most common methods include:

  • Purchasing real estate with illegally obtained money and then reselling it
  • Using shell companies or trusts to conceal the source of the money
  • Under or overvaluing invoices to hide cash flow
  • Paying employees under the table with laundered money

Defenses Against Money Laundering Charges

If you are facing money laundering charges, there are several defenses that you can use to avoid conviction. Some of the most common defenses include:

  • Lack of intent
  • No laundering occurred
  • Rights violations

To prove money laundering, the prosecution must show that the accused had the intent to conceal the origin of the illegally obtained money. If you did not know the money was acquired illegally or never did anything to conceal it, you can use the lack of intent defense.

Another common defense is to argue that no laundering occurred because you did not take any steps to conceal the origin of the money. And if the police violated your rights while investigating the case, you can use this to have the charges against you dropped.

The Thrill of Money Laundering

Money laundering is a complex and fascinating crime that requires creativity, intelligence, and sophistication to execute successfully. It involves secret steps that must be carried out with precision, making it an engaging and thrilling topic to explore. However, it is important to note that the crime has severe consequences and is a federal offense. If you are facing money laundering charges, you need an experienced lawyer to help you navigate the legal system and defend your rights.


Money Laundering: An Overview of the Crime

Money laundering is a complex crime that involves disguising illegally obtained funds to make them appear legitimate. This type of malfeasance often occurs in conjunction with other criminal activities such as drug offenses, prostitution rings, and terrorist funding.

Specific Types of Money Laundering

There are several specific types or methods used by criminals to launder their ill-gotten gains:


This method involves depositing large amounts of illegally-obtained cash into the business accounts of legitimate establishments. Proving illegality can be particularly challenging since banking institutions have no failsafe method for determining the validity of these deposits.


Those committing this act doctor legitimate documents like bills or business statements to create a traceable paper trail designed to legalize illegal transactions.

Real Estate

Some individuals might perform real estate transactions like house-flipping and use associated profits for illegal purposes.

Bank Capture

In certain instances, those who oversee financial institution operations engage in wiring or depositing dirty money into seemingly legal accounts under the guise of actual business. Such behavior typically does not arise suspicions.


Perpetrators break large sums into smaller amounts and transfer lesser sums to make their actions appear appropriate.


Some malfeasant subjects purchase gambling chips with illicit funds and immediately cash said objects to reap large cash profits.

Proving Money Laundering

Prosecuting attorneys must demonstrate that perpetrators were involved in some type(s)of criminal activity; knowingly profited from such actions; engaged in elaborate plans designed to make their actions appear legal;and used the money for professional or personal gain. Additionally, a prosecutor must prove intent by demonstrating that the individual under scrutiny knew they were engaging in unlawful actions, profited from such behavior, and partook in deceptive activities designed to confuse or mislead financial institutions or law enforcement agencies.

Penalties for Money Laundering

Indictable Crime

Money laundering is an indictable crime and typically prosecuted by state and federal authorities. In New Jersey, penalties for money laundering can be steep with charges ranging from third to first degree depending on several key factors such as the amount of money involved, criminal record of the subject in question, and if they will face prosecution for any other criminal offenses associated with the laundering charges.

Third Degree

Individuals face third-degree charges when they were involved with transactions totaling $75,000 or less. If convicted, subjects could receive anywhere from three to five years in prison.

Second Degree

Second-degree indictable money laundering occurs when an alleged offender partakes in illegal transacting of funds ranging between $75k-$499k. Convictions carry prison sentences of five to ten years.

First Degree

Money Laundering at this level takes place when $500k or more dirty funds have been obtained and processed. Convicted individuals could face up 10 years incarceration; moreover,the jailed subject must serve at least one-third of their sentence before a judge may consider awarding parole.

Monetary Restitution

Courts might order convicted individuals to remit fines equivalent to three times whatever value all property involved was worth.

Possible Defenses for Money Laundering

While it may seem like there are few justifiable defenses for money laundering cases,a skilled federal criminal defense attorney might possess acumen necessary formulate arguments including:


A handful of individuals might be forced into engaging in these activities under duress imposed by powerful criminals who threaten their lives/families’ well-being should they not capitulate.Oftentimes these professionals include accountants/business managers.

No Provable Intent

Some lawyers might be able to demonstrate that the accused party did not realize they were committing malfeasant acts. For example, aforementioned professionals might process large sums of money for unscrupulous subjects but have no idea the money was dirty or said individuals were partaking in criminal actions.


Money laundering is a serious crime with severe penalties. Our team of experienced and skilled criminal defense attorneys invites interested parties to read this blog post providing an overview of money laundering, potential penalties one could face if convicted,and possible defenses an accused party might employ if charged with said act. If you are facing charges related to money laundering, it is essential that you seek legal representation from a qualified attorney who can help protect your rights and interests throughout the legal process.

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