The term “money laundering” is no stranger to most New York business people: it often makes headlining news, is ingrained in the societal psyche through the legal system and also makes appearances through the mode of Hollywood blockbusters. Yet what happens when this infamous topic applies to the everday individual? Mistakes do happen, but the U.S. legal system does not take federal crimes such as money laundering lightly. It is important to know the types of existing money laundering charges and the potential repercussions if such a crime does occur.
The New York Times reminds its readers that acts of money laundering are hardly uncommon in the state of New York. In April 2016, 11 New York residents faced federal charges for allegedly participating in a broad ring that brough Korean women into the country to work as prostitutes. Disguised as spas, the women worked in rotations and lived in brothels in various parts of Manhattan. Defendants included brothel managers and owners, website developers and advertisers, who laundered more than $1.4 million in illegal proceeds from the brothel and spa businesses, using the money for further promotion. Many investigations, including those on this incident, require the involvement of Homeland Security, the Internal Revenue Service and the Postal Inspection Service.
Findlaw further clarifies the legal procedures regarding money laundering, reiterating that such federal crimes are no subject to take lightly in the state of New York. Furthermore, money laundering is directly connected to organized crime and racketeering operations. Money laundering can involve (but are not limited to) the following monetary actions:
- Wire transfers
- Currency exchanges
The above methods of handling finances can be used for money laundering purposes, yet New York money laundering laws are constantly changing. There are also a number of defenses for money laundering charges, but most defenses involve a general lack of knowledge or intent of the crime.