How to defend against charges of money laundering

On Behalf of | May 8, 2024 | White Collar Crimes |

Money laundering is a serious charge. It suggests that someone is disguising illegally obtained money as legitimate income.

Anyone facing accusations of money laundering needs a thorough awareness of the available defense strategies.

Knowing the elements of money laundering

Successfully rebuffing a money laundering charge begins with fully understanding how the crime works. Essentially, it involves three steps:

  1. Placement: introducing illegal funds into the financial system
  2. Layering: hiding the origins through complex transactions
  3. Integration: making the money appear legitimate

Proving that one of these elements does not apply to the circumstances in question can be an effective defense strategy.

Demonstrating a lack of knowledge

Another common defense is proving that the person lacks awareness of the illegal origins of the funds. If someone can convincingly show there is no reasonable way of knowing that the money comes from criminal activity, it may establish a lack of intent. Doing this can significantly weaken the prosecution’s case.

Showing the legal source of the funds

Alternatively, a defendant may demonstrate that the funds are from a legal source. Defendants are on a solid path if they can provide evidence such as receipts, bank statements or documents that trace the money back to legitimate sources. Once there is proof that the money has clean origins, the basis for the laundering charges collapses.

Challenging the evidence

Disputing the information coming from the prosecution is also a savvy defense tactic. One might achieve this by questioning the credibility of the evidence. Another option is to point out procedural flaws regarding its collection.

Proving entrapment

Sometimes, defense teams can prove entrapment, which occurs when law enforcement officials induce a person to commit a crime they would not have otherwise committed. Showing that persuasion or trickery is the reason for handling what one thought to be legal funds might lead to the dropping of charges.

Defending against money laundering charges requires intense preparation and a strong presentation of the facts and evidence. Those who deliver a solid argument in court can clear their names and avoid negative repercussions.