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International Money Laundering Charges

Punishable by up to two decades imprisonment and $500,000 in fines, international money laundering is one of the most serious white collar crimes with which a person can be charged. For this reason, mounting a strong defense is critical for those who have been accused of money laundering. To learn more about money laundering prosecutions and to begin formulating your own defense, please contact a white collar crime attorney who has the experience and resources to assist you.

Types of Money Laundering  

Under federal law, money laundering charges can be divided into the following three categories:

  • Domestic money laundering;
  • Undercover, or sting, transactions involving money laundering; and
  • International money laundering transactions.

Each of these offenses comes with its own set of elements and penalties, so defendants who have been accused of money laundering should have a thorough understanding of the details of their charges.

Proving Intent  

Most money laundering charges involve allegations of unlawful domestic activity, or actions that occur in the continental U.S. When a person has been accused of transporting, transferring, or transmitting funds overseas, however, he or she can be charged with international money laundering. To be convicted, a defendant must have acted with criminal intent, which includes transferring funds in an effort to avoid reporting requirements, or concealing the proceeds of unlawful activity. Intending to engage in tax violations does not fall under this category.

Proceeds of Criminal Activity  

If these elements have been fulfilled, prosecutors must still prove that the defendant was aware that the funds being transferred were actually the proceeds of some type of unlawful activity. A mere belief that assets stem from an unlawful source is not enough to obtain a conviction, unless the transmission of the funds was conducted with the intent to promote a specific unlawful activity. In these cases, prosecutors must prove that the funds in question were actually derived from criminal activity.

Crossing U.S. Borders  

Finally, to qualify as intentional money laundering, a person’s actions must involve transmitting or transferring funds across the U.S. border, whether originating or terminating in the U.S. This covers all means of transferring monetary instruments, including not only wire or electronic transfers, but also the transfer of actual currency, checks, or money orders.


Defendants who are convicted of international money laundering face serious penalties, including:

  • Fines totaling $500,000 or twice the value of the funds involved in the transmission, whichever is greater; and
  • Imprisonment for up to 20 years.

Conviction also comes with the creation of a permanent record, which can have significant repercussions. For instance, it can be much more difficult for those who have a criminal record to  find housing or secure employment. For this reason, presenting a strong defense at the outset of a case is especially important.

Contact Our Legal Team Today  

If you have been charged with money laundering and want to begin working on your defense, please call (305) 670-9919 to speak with dedicated Miami white collar crime attorney Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. Initial consultations are conducted free of charge, so please don’t hesitate to call or contact our legal team today.



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