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What should I know about money laundering?

People often talk about the crime of "money laundering" on television and in in the movies. But what does this term actually mean?

Money laundering involves the transfer of money that was earned through criminal activity so that it appears as if it were legitimately earned. The act allows people who have committed crimes to obscure the true origins of their money.

Accountants and bankers are sometimes accused of money laundering

The people who commit "money laundering" could be accountants or financial officers at companies and banks. These people might not have had anything to do with the criminal activities that generated the money, but they could have everything to do with helping a criminal organization run smoothly and efficiently. After all, a criminal enterprise needs to manage its money just like any other enterprise.

One of the ways that the U.S. government and state of Florida help keep organized crime in check is by making money laundering activities illegal. At first, these laws were focused on the war against Mafia organizations. These days, the laws are used in the war on drugs and anti-terrorism efforts.

Money laundering laws have existed since the 1970s

Money laundering laws have been around since the 1970s, when the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) required banking institutions to report transactions to the U.S. Department of Treasury. Specifically, the BSA requires banks to report large transactions in excess of $10,000, in addition to suspicious transactions that look like they're being made in a way to deceive officials.

The Money Laundering Control Act of 1986 served to criminalize the act of money laundering. The act makes it illegal for individuals to transact with capital garnered through criminal actions. Under the letter of this law, transferring money between two people is also included under the term "financial transaction." With the introduction of the USA Patriot Act after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, the U.S. government tightened its controls around financial transactions even more, including the creation of more anti-money laundering programs.

Were you accused of money laundering?

If you or your company have been accused of money laundering, this is a serious allegation that requires a serious response in court. Make sure you fully understand the details of your money laundering case in the context of Florida and federal law before proceeding with your defense.

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