Not all severe criminal offenses involve the use of violence. Crimes that result in significant financial losses are also taken very seriously at both the state and federal levels.
Criminal actions that revolve around defrauding a person or entity, or profiting through illicit funds, are commonly referred to as white-collar crimes. Fraud, embezzlement, identity theft, and forgery are just some of the more notable offenses in this area. Money laundering is another offense that warrants further consideration. Outlined below are some of the key components of the crime of money laundering in New York.
Defining money laundering
In a nutshell, money laundering involves a person taking funds that have been obtained illegally and trying to pass them off as lawful proceeds. There are a number of ways that this can be done, but the procedure often involves the sale of drugs or other illegal products. The money is then funneled through a legitimate business in an attempt to veil it as a lawful business transaction. Criminals utilize such methods in the hope that they can avoid detection and subsequent prosecution.
Is money laundering a serious offense?
All instances of money laundering are treated seriously but the severity of punishments can vary. In New York, the crime is separated into four degrees. Money laundering in the 4th degree is considered a class E felony that can amount to a penalty of up to four years in prison. Money laundering in the 1st degree is a class B felony, with the potential penalty being up to 25 years in prison. How the crime is classified will very much depend on the amount of money involved, the types of illicit activity as well as the methods of concealment.
Facing charges of money laundering is very serious and it is important to understand your legal rights. You have the presumption of innocence and it is up to the prosecution to prove any case against you.