Money laundering occurs when someone obtains large amounts of money from an illegal source and attempts to either exchange that money or otherwise make it seem as though the money is coming from a legitimate source. This practice is widespread across the nation as well as the rest of the world. When a person tries to cover up or conceal their true source of income or its final destination directly because of its illegal status, that is money laundering, which is considered a crime on both federal as well as state levels.
Spending and Concealment Laws in NJ
Simply spending money that originated from an illegal source is not regarded as money laundering, yet attempting to conceal or disguise those funds would indeed be considered money laundering. If a person decides to use money that had been obtained illegally to purchase an item, that person is not laundering money. Although, if a person decided that they must hide or otherwise disguise the money’s origin then they would be charged with money laundering.
In order for a prosecutor to convict a person charged for money laundering, they must first prove that the defendant intentionally disguised their income in order to obscure the true source, location, ownership, control, or nature of the money. Although this is true, if a person is simply attempting to hide cash in a hidden compartment in a vehicle for transportation, they are not laundering any money. If that person attempted to hide the origin or destination of that money, then that would indeed be considered money laundering.
Additionally, if a person is simply receiving income from a crime or any illegal activity, the Supreme Court has determined that this cannot be considered money laundering. In a situation in which a person is currently managing an illegal enterprise and making money from it, they are indeed committing a crime although it is not considered money laundering. In order for that person to be illegally laundering money, they must have had to conceal or attempt to conceal where the money had originally come from or that person may have attempted to hide the profits entirely.
Specifically, a criminal charge of money laundering is aimed at the act of hiding or attempting to disguise any illegally obtained money or profits. In order for someone to be convicted of money laundering, a court must see that the proceeds did indeed come from criminal activity and not a legal source. If a person is able to make money from a legal transaction yet then attempts to hide the money in order to avoid paying taxes on their profits, it will not be considered money laundering because the origin of the money was entirely legal, regardless of any tax laws being broken.
Contact an Experienced NJ Attorney Today
A money laundering charge should never be taken lightly. If convicted of money laundering, it can have lasting effects on your life that far exceed prison time including difficulty finding a job or providing for a family. It may be in your best interest to speak with an experienced money laundering attorney if you have been charged. There can be large differences in money laundering laws between state and federal levels and you need an attorney with a successful track record to navigate these laws and get you the best result possible. Contact John W. Tumelty today so that we can begin your case and start fighting for you immediately.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.