Pursuant to the New York Penal Code, money laundering is a crime that involves hiding the financial proceeds from other criminal activity. Money laundering involves taking specific steps that convert funds received from an illegal activity into what appears to be a legitimate source of that money. Money laundering oftentimes is associated with illegal drug dealing.
Elements of Money Laundering in the Third Degree
There are a number of elements associated with money laundering in the third degree. You can be charged with money laundering in the third degree if you know that the proceeds of a financial transaction represent money obtained through some sort of criminal activity. In addition, you undertake a financial transaction with the intent to hide or obscure the source of the funds or you intend to evade federal tax law. In addition, you can be guilty of money laundering if you know the illegal source of the funds and you make a financial transaction in a manner designed to avoid reporting requirements.
You can also face a charge of money laundering in the third degree if money from criminal activity is placed on some sort of financial instrument, like a prepaid debit card, and you transport the financial instrument to hide the source of the funds. You can also be charged if the use of the instrument is to avoid financial reporting requirements.
Examples of Money Laundering in the Third Degree
An example of money laundering in the third degree is found in a situation in which a person runs a clothing store and operates an illegal gambling operations in the basement. In order to obscure the source of the illegal gambling revenue, the store owner runs the proceeds from the illicit operation through the store as if the money came from retail sales.
Another example of money laundering involves a drug dealer who sets up a barber shop. The drug dealer runs proceeds from the drug sales through the barber shop, concealing the money as customer receipts.
Sentence for Money Laundering in the Third Degree
In the state of New York, money laundering in the third degree is a class D felony. As a result, a person convicted of money laundering in the third degree faces the possibility of up to seven years in prison. A five year probationary period can also follow the term of incarceration in a money laundering in the third degree case. The New York Penal Code also provides a fine provision. The financial penalty imposed upon conviction for money laundering in the third degree can be twice the amount of money laundered by the person found guilty of the crime.
Defenses to Money Laundering in the Third Degree
A skilled, experienced NYC criminal attorney can mount a defense to a charge of money laundering in the third degree. This crime requires the specific intent that you knew you were laundering money obtained from some type of criminal activity. Therefore, a defense to money laundering in the third degree is that you had no knowledge of the illegal source of the funds.
The first step in obtaining experienced legal representation in a money laundering in the third degree case is to schedule what is known as an initial consultation. An initial consultation provides you the opportunity to obtain a case evaluation from a criminal defense lawyer with a background in defending people facing money laundering charges.
A criminal defense lawyer will also provide answers to your questions. In New York, a criminal defense lawyer typically charges no fee for an initial consultation with a prospective client in a money laundering in the third degree case.
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