FOLLOW US :
212-300-5196

White Glove Service. Excellent Results. Strong Reputation.

Read Our Reviews

Nationwide Legal Representation

We are an elite criminal defense law firm, that emphasizes providing the best service and professionalism to all clients. We service a curated clientele nationwide – that expect the best from their lawyer. We handle tough criminal defense and legal situations that require deep knowledge, experience, dedication, and excellence in order to win. We have over 50 years of combined experience, handling national and international cases.

Service Matters

Excellent results begins with top notch service. We treat you like family, and you always know what's going on with your criminal defense case.

Work Directly

When you hire our law firm, you work directly with a senior criminal defense attorney only. This ensures the best results possible.

Who We Are

We 100's of 5 star reviews, and have been featured in the media. We are a premier law firm who understands how to win cases.

Schedule Consultation

Top Rated Attorneys

The Spodek Law Group is one of the most successful law firms in the USA. Our success comes from the fact we are attentive to details, and take a very pragmatic approach to each and every single case. Our clients turn to us for realistic advice – so they can make the appropriate decisions they need to make personally. Our goal is to make sure your case ends in a positive outcome, not only personally – but for your family as well.

 



Penal Code 186.10 PC California Money Laundering Laws

The meaning of “money laundering” is exactly what it sounds like: it is the process of cleaning up “dirty” money.

This is accomplished by channeling money earned from criminal or other illicit conduct into bank accounts or other legitimate uses, making it impossible to trace its source.

The money laundering law in California is divided into two sections:

  • Health and Safety Code 11370.9 HS, which only deals with money generated from drug offences; and 
  • Penal Code 186.10 PC, which includes money related to any form of crime activity.

Examples of Penal Code 186.10 PC Money Laundering Activity

Here are some people who could face charges under one of California’s anti-money laundering laws:

  • A woman is aware that her husband, a doctor, has been making a substantial profit via health-care fraud. She deposits huge checks into their joint personal bank account that she knows are the proceeds of the fraud.
  • The thousands of dollars in cash earned from selling narcotics are used to stock the cash registers of a chain of food trucks owned by a prominent drug dealer.  His theory is that this will clean up his “dirty” money.

Penalties on Conviction on Penal Code 186.10 PC Money Laundering Charges

Both types of money laundering, as defined under PC 186.10 and HS 11370.9, are considered “wobblers” under California law.

This implies that, depending on the defendant’s prior history and the details of the case, prosecutors may charge money laundering as a misdemeanor or a felony.

Up to one (1) year in county jail and/or a fine of up to one thousand dollars are possible misdemeanor penalties.

Felony money laundering, on the other hand, entails a term of at least sixteen (16) months to four (4) years in prison, as well as a fine of up to two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000), or double the amount of money laundered (whichever is greater).

Legal defenses to Penal Code 186.10 PC Money Laundering Charges

Money laundering is a challenging crime to prove. If you are accused with this crime, one of the following legal defenses may be able to help you beat the charges:

  • You lacked criminal intent or knowledge that you were laundering illegal proceeds;
  • The quantity of money you handled did not meet the legal requirement for a money laundering conviction; and/or
  • You were a victim of police misconduct.

Our California criminal defense lawyers at Spodek Law Group discuss the following in this article:

  1. California’s Money Laundering Laws: History and Philosophy
  2. California’s Legal Definition of Money Laundering
  3. Sanctions for Money Laundering in California
  4. Legal Rebuttals to Charges of Money Laundering
  5. Federal Anti-Money Laundering Legislation

If you have any questions after reading this post, please do not hesitate to contact Spodek Law Group.

1. California’s Money Laundering Laws: History and Philosophy

You might be wondering what the purpose of anti-money laundering legislation is. 

Isn’t it enough to prosecute people for the crime from which the money was obtained? 

Why does depositing the proceeds of a crime in a bank have to constitute a distinct crime?

The solution can be found in the history of California’s anti-money laundering legislation. 

The law was passed in 1986 by the California legislature in order to combat money obtained from the transportation and sale of illegal substances.

Large-scale organized crime networks were frequently involved in drug trafficking. 

The “workers” in the crime rings were in charge of the actual transportation and sale, while the “bosses” were in charge of the money.

Making it illegal to handle money gave prosecutors an avenue to target higher-ranking members of the group.

However, California’s anti-money laundering statute has resulted in the arrest of a large number of people who are far from being organized crime lords. 

Because of the way the laws are structured, you could be charged if you have a financial relationship with a family member or acquaintance who makes money through unlawful conduct, even if you don’t participate in it.

2. California’s Legal Definition of Money Laundering

General money laundering (Penal Code 186.10) 

The more general California money laundering statute, California Penal Code 186.10, defines money laundering as follows:

  1. Using a bank to accomplish, or attempting to conduct, a transaction (this can include depositing or withdrawing money, or writing a check);
  2. When a transaction or sequence of transactions has a total value of more than $5,000 in a seven-day period or more than $25,000 in a thirty-day period;
  3. With either:
    1. Intention to encourage criminal action; or
    2. The knowledge that the funds used in the transaction were obtained through illicit conduct.

3. Sanctions for Money Laundering in California 

Money laundering under PC 186.10 and HS 11370.9 are both deemed “wobblers” under California law.

This implies that, depending on the defendant’s previous history and the details of the case, prosecutors may charge either form of money laundering as a misdemeanor or a felony.

If money laundering is charged as a misdemeanor, the following fines may be imposed:

  • a maximum of one year in county jail; and/or
  • A fine of up to $1,000 may be imposed.

Money laundering as a felony under Penal Code 186.10 carries the following penalties:

  • Under California’s realignment program, a sentence of 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in county jail; and/or
  • A fine of up to $250,000 or twice the amount of the money that was laundered (whichever amount is greater).

If this is not your first money laundering conviction, the maximum fine increases.

Furthermore, if the amount of money laundered exceeds fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), the maximum prison sentence for money laundering increases.

The following are the felony penalties for money laundering with prohibited substances under Health and Safety Code 11370.9:

  • a sentence of two, three or four years in state prison; and/or a sentence of two, three or four years in federal prison; and/or
  • A fine of up to two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) or double the amount laundered is possible (whichever is greater).

4. Legal Rebuttals to Charges of Money Laundering

If you’ve been charged with money laundering in California, a qualified criminal defense lawyer can assist you present legal defenses that could lead to a “not guilty” finding. 

Here are a few examples:

“Lack of knowledge or lack of intent” defense

To be convicted of money laundering under Penal Code 186.10 PC, you must have either planned to promote or facilitate illegal behavior, or you must have known that you were handling money obtained through criminal activity.

Similarly, you must have meant to conceal the source or owner of drug proceeds to be prosecuted under Health and Safety Code 11370.9 HS.

You cannot be found guilty if the prosecutor cannot prove that you intended or knew these things:

  • There isn’t enough money coming in from unlawful activity.
  • As previously stated, you cannot be convicted of money laundering in California unless the transactions involved money in excess of specific threshold quantities

There’s more to it than that! The District Attorney must be able to demonstrate not only that the laundering transactions exceeded these thresholds, but also that a portion of the money laundered came from illicit sources.

The “Misconduct by the police” defense

Money laundering arrests are frequently made through sophisticated covert operations. 

Occasionally, these activities result in police misbehavior, such as searches conducted without a valid California search warrant or without reasonable cause.

If this happens, your lawyer may be able to file a motion to suppress evidence obtained through an illegal search and seizure.

6. Federal Anti-Money Laundering Legislation 

Money laundering is both a federal and a state felony in California. 

Engaging in one of two types of money laundering is illegal under federal law.

The first involves engaging in a financial transaction with the proceeds of criminal activity with the goal to EITHER promote the illegal behavior OR hide the illicit source of the funds.

If you are convicted of this felony, you could face a term of up to twenty (20) years in federal prison, a fine of up to $500,000, or double the amount laundered (whichever is greater), or both.

The other sort of federal money laundering is intentionally engaging in (or attempting to engage in) a transaction worth more than $10,000 with funds obtained through illegal activity.

This somewhat less significant crime is punishable with a fine, up to ten (10) years in federal prison, or both.

Call us for help with your case…

Please do not hesitate to contact us at Spodek Law Group if you have any concerns concerning California’s money laundering laws or if you would want to discuss your case privately with one of our California criminal defense attorneys.


Charle Butler
Charle Butler
2021-03-12
Verified
I was hesitant to hire the Spodek Law Group. I read reviews and knew they have a great reputation. However, I thought I would spend money and not see or speak to my attorney. From the beginning to end of my case Todd and the entire staff were available and willing to help. We worked towards and end result that was way above my expectation and Todd delivered. I am forever grateful for patience and long days and night spent working on my case. Thanks Todd and the entire team!
Mesonista parsons
Mesonista parsons
2021-03-05
Verified
My attorney at Spodek was Abigail. She was very knowledgeable and helpful with all my questions and concerns, as well as responsive. Her fees are affordable and Abigail took the time to make sure I understood everything relating to my case. I highly recommend Abigail and will request her services in the future.
debabrata chakraborty
debabrata chakraborty
2021-03-03
Verified
Todd A Spodek is the experienced and best criminal lawyer at USA. He is very professional and always respond on time. Alex also very cooperative and always help me. They took care me and my problem like family member. I am 100% satisfied for their professional service. My result was unexpected and amazing. They dismissed my case. I am really grateful to them. I will recommend you to go there if you want to solve your problem. I wish all the best for them.
Asata Hendricks
Asata Hendricks
2021-03-02
Verified
Truly appreciate the work the guys did!. Exceptional team & I know they care about each and everyone of their clients. I am super thankful to be referred to Spodek Law Group and I am grateful Todd & Alex were able to work diligently to achieve an outcome I am pleased with. Despite COVID they stayed on top of things and kept me informed every step of the way. Very thankful.
Mike Moroff
Mike Moroff
2021-02-26
Verified
I'm very satisfied with the services rendered by Todd, Alex and Mary Lou. I whole heartedly recommend Spodek Law Group . I've worked with and have retained other attorneys in the past with Todd's firm being the cream of the crop for many reasons. A very serious legal matter was resolved after a year's hard work and effort. Todd expertly guided me through the process and was able to navigate and make the good journey bearable as well as successful. Mary Lou initially provided excellent assistance before referring my case to Todd. Alex's support was effective and timely. The customer portal (MyCase) is an invaluable communication tool that also kept track of my case. Various aspects of my case were explained and there were several options provided but I made the final decision of how the case would be handled. The legal fee was reasonable considering the effort and amount of work plus it was a flat fee regardless of the length of time required to conclude my case. Todd made himself available to me and we had many scheduled meetings to go over the progress and to discuss the next steps. I felt more confident after many discussions with him. You will not go wrong choosing Spodek Law Group for legal matters.
Josh Katz
Josh Katz
2021-02-24
Verified
Being that it was the first time that I was in need of an attorney, I was afraid and hesitant and knew I needed the absolute best. It is beyond understood why Spodek Law Group has a reputation of being the top, if not the best law firm in New York. Alex and Abigail were there every step of the way even at the most unconvenient hours. I could not have asked for more. They are extremely good at what they do and they delivered much much more than just winning my case. A big thank you to Alex and Abigail for all the guidance and counseling and their upmost loyal support that extended far more than just legally. If you need the absolute best than don't hesitate to hire Spodek Law Firm.
L.C.
L.C.
2021-02-24
Verified
I cannot tell you how thankful I am to Todd and Alex for their hard work and dedication to my case. I had never been in any trouble before but I had an unfortunate event occur and in the midst of COVID-19 at that therefore I knew I needed a team that was dedicated to my success. Today- my case has been finalized and I’m walking away with no record and can continue life as a mother and a Grad student worry free. I cannot express enough gratitude for their assistance.
AnnMarie Soliman
AnnMarie Soliman
2021-02-23
Verified
I received a summons and called Spodek law group for a free consultation. Alex took my call and was very quick and responsive. He was available anytime through multiple platforms and very reassuring when needed. They are extremely organized and thorough. They got my case dismissed! I’m very grateful. Thank you Alex and Todd!

FREE CONSULTATION

Testimonials

Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them enough.

~ David Bruce

Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet.

~ Rowlin Garcia

Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind.

~ Francis Anim

Spodek Law Group

White Glove Service

We provide superior service, excellent results, at a level superior to other criminal defense law firms. Regardless of where your case is, nationwide, we can help you.



Hear From Our Clients

"Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them..."

David Bruce

"Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet."

Rowlin Garcia

"Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind."

Francis Anim
Read Our Reviews
Get In Touch

Schedule Your Consultation

Los Angeles

555 W 5th St 35th floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013

212-300-5196



get directions

Queens

35-37 36th St, 2nd Floor Astoria, NY 11106

212-300-5196



get directions

NYC

85 Broad St 30th Floor, New York, NY 10004

212-300-5196



get directions

Brooklyn

195 Montague St., 14th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201

212-300-5196



get directions

Call Us