Money laundering involves taking money procured by illegal means and moving it into a legal vehicle. The purpose centers on hiding the illegality of how those possessing the funds gained the money. Persons accused of money laundering may face serious charges in a Florida federal courtroom. The investigation and prosecution may reveal one of the many ways people engage in money laundering.
Money laundering methods
Not all forms of money laundering are complex. One straightforward way to launder funds involves putting small sums into various bank accounts. A money launderer could funnel money into multiple small businesses, and the depositor mixes the illicit funds with legitimate funds into numerous accounts.
Although most people associate the term mule with drug smuggling, some mules assist with money laundering. An enterprise might prove the mule money, and the mule then deposits the funds into their personal accounts. The mule could open numerous financial accounts and then transfer the funds to the criminal enterprise interested in laundering the funds.
Those wishing to launder more substantial sums of money might find these two processes inadequate. The establishment of a shell corporation is one way that money launderers may attempt to clean significant amounts. Often, those attempting to launder money through a shell corporation will do so in a jurisdiction known for providing anonymity.
Defenses against money laundering
While someone might face an investigation or charges for money laundering, the accused might be entirely innocent. Although law enforcement believes the suspect is laundering money, the funds might not come from an illegal source. Additionally, the suspect may not try to hide the deposits or transactions, which may cast doubts on accusations of money laundering.
Sometimes, people are duped into laundering money. That is, they do not know that the money came from illegal sources. Lack of knowledge about the funds' illegality might stand as a valid defense.