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Understanding money laundering charges

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2024 | White Collar Crimes

White collar crimes are serious matters that must be treated as such. While these aren’t violent crimes, they can result significant penalties if someone is convicted. Money laundering is an example of a white-collar charge that can be difficult to navigate.

Money laundering is a white collar crime that’s incredibly complex. Someone who’s charged with this crime should understand what it entails under the law. This may help them determine how to proceed with their defense strategy.

What is money laundering?

Money laundering is making large amounts of money generated by criminal activity appear to be earned legally. It typically involves placement, layering and integration.

  • Placement: Introduces illicit funds into the financial system
  • Layering: Conceals the illegal source of the funds through various bookkeeping and transaction tricks
  • Integration: Indirectly returns the now-clean money to the original source who handled placement

Massachusetts addresses money laundering in General Laws, Chapter 267A. This makes it illegal to engage in transactions designed to conceal the nature, location, source, ownership or control of money or property derived from criminal activity.

Penalties for money laundering convictions

Massachusetts’s penalties for money laundering can be severe, including fines up to $1,000,000 or twice the value of the laundered money, whichever is greater, and imprisonment for up to 20 years. The state takes a proactive stance in investigating and prosecuting these crimes, often working with federal agencies like the FBI and the IRS.

Defense strategies for money laundering charges

Defending against money laundering charges involves a detailed examination of the evidence and the circumstances surrounding the alleged laundering activities. Key defense strategies might include challenging the prosecution’s assertions about the origin of the funds, arguing that the accused had no knowledge of the criminal nature of the money or demonstrating a lack of intent to conceal its source.

Given the complexity of money laundering cases, which often involve intricate financial transactions and legal nuances, having legal representation familiar with this type of charge is crucial. They can navigate the complexities of state and federal laws, work to undermine the prosecution’s case and advocate for a defendant’s rights.


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