What is money laundering?
San Diego criminal lawyers frequently encounter money laundering cases. Illegal narcotics generally move North from South America and Mexico to the United States. Money obtainined from the sale of the methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin eventually moves North from the United States back to the sellers.
Money laundering is simply trying to disguise the source of money for unlawful activity. Because of San Diego's proximity to the border, most of the money laundering cases are charged by the federal government, and a person charged with money laundering will need to hire a federal criminal attorney.
Most money laundering cases in San Diego involve drug money, but some cases involve the structuring of financial transactions to avoid income tax liability. The purpose of money laundering is to make the source of money untraceable. Money is usually “laundered” or cleaned by passing it through so many banks and financial transactions that it is hard or impossible to trace. Sometimes people who pass money through a currency exchange house or “casa de cobro.” Generally, the people who launder money charge a commission of 5% to 8%.
The penalties for money laundering depend on how the money was acquired, for instance, whether it was for narcotics or to further terrorism activities. Fines can reach $500,000 or more an imprisonment of twenty years or more. The penalties for federa money laundering are found at 18 USC § 1956. For the general penalties for federal offenses, see my blog on the subject.) For economic crimes in general, see my federal economic crime page.)
Often when driving into Tijuana from San Ysidro, one can see police officers standing in the lanes of traffic. They have canines that are trained to sniff for currency.
It is illegal to take more than $10,000 currency out of the United States without filling out a form and declaring it. Individuals who are arrested often have more than $25,000 and many times more than $100,000 hidden on their person or in their vehicle.
Money laundering is a very serious crime which calls for your hiring an experienced crimnal defense lawyer. The attorneys in the Law Offices of Russell S. Babcock are very experienced in handling money laundering cases. Attorney Russell S. Babcock is a certified criminal law specialist, former prosecutor, and a San Diego federal defense attorney for more than twenty five years.
If you are a loved one has been charged with money laundering, hire the best San Diego criminal defense lawyer you can today. Do not entrust your future to an attorney who is not experienced in federal drug and money laundering cases.
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