D. Jesse Smith, Tucson criminal defense attorney, has over 35 years of experience handling criminal matters in Arizona state and federal courts. He has successfully defended clients charged with white collar crimes, including money laundering.
What is money laundering in Arizona?
Generally categorized as a white collar crime, money laundering is both a federal and state offense. Under Arizona Revised Statute § 13-2317, a person is guilty of money laundering if he or she maintains an interest in, transacts, transfers, transports, receives, or conceals money derived from almost any criminal activity with the goal of concealing the illegal source of the funds. Ranging from the simple to the sophisticated, methods of money laundering include:
- Strategically transferring money between numerous bank accounts
- Breaking up large amounts of money into small deposits
- Buying acceptable forms of money such as cashier's checks and money orders with "dirty" money, and depositing the cashier's checks or money orders
- Mixing illegally acquired funds with legitimately acquired funds, and depositing them in a single transaction
- Making cash purchases with dirty money and reselling products in a legitimate market, such as an Internet market like eBay or Craigslist
- Physically taking cash to another jurisdiction that does not strictly monitor financial transactions, such as an offshore bank, and deposing the funds there
Money laundering is a crime on its own, which means you can be convicted of money laundering without being convicted of any other crime. Many people are surprised to learn that they have been charged with money laundering simply for being a link in the money laundering chain, when they were not part of the crime that produced the dirty money or the ultimate recipient of the laundered funds.
What are the penalties for money laundering in Arizona?
Money laundering may be classified as a class 2, class 3, or class 6 felony, depending on the defendant's role in the alleged money laundering scheme. Money laundering in the first degree is punishable by four to 10 years in prison, and even third degree money laundering, the lowest level money laundering offense, is punishable by six months to one and a half years in prison.
In addition to any other sentence levied against a defendant, the prosecution may seek to seize assets three times the amount that was involved in the alleged money laundering scheme if the defendant is part of a pattern of violations that involve a total of $100,000 or more in any 12 month period. Defendants subject to forfeiture do have the right to fight to contest the seizure and recover property. We have extensive experience handling seizures and forfeitures, and have helped many clients get their property back after it has been seized.
Strong Representation from an Experienced Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one faces money laundering charges, contact D. Jesse Smith, Attorney at Law for a free initial consultation. You need strong criminal defense representation on your side, protecting your rights and fighting for your freedom. Se habla español.