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How Does the FBI Handle Money Laundering Cases?

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Money laundering is a crime that involves moving or transferring money that was derived from criminal activities. This is usually done to conceal the illegal source of the money. It may also be done to use illegal profits to fund more criminal activity.

How Does the FBI Handle Money Laundering CasesThe Federal Bureau of Investigation prosecutes many money laundering cases. The Bureau uses special techniques to target and prosecute people who engage in moving illegal funds.

How the FBI Catches Money Laundering

In order to convict someone of money laundering, the FBI must show evidence that the alleged money launderer committed several specific actions. They must prove that:

  • The defendant derived money from a crime
  • The defendant knew that the money came from an illegal source
  • The defendant tried to hide the money or use it to fund more crimes

It’s not always easy to prove that an alleged money launderer meets the requirements for a conviction. To get solid evidence, the FBI uses some special tactics.

Sting Operations

According to the law, a person can be charged with money laundering as long as they believed the money they were moving came from an illegal source.

FBI agents can use this legal provision to approach a suspected money launderer and offer to hire him. Undercover agents will provide a sum of money purported to be from a crime. Even though the money is actually “clean”, if the person agrees to launder the funds, he may be charged and taken to court.

Spending Illegal Funds

If an alleged money launderer attempts to spend illegal cash or move it into a financial institution, that person will have fulfilled the requirements for a money laundering charge. Under the law, any attempt to invest, spend or store illegal funds constitutes an attempt to launder money.

For example, the FBI could track an alleged money launderer and see where he spends money. Agents could then examine the spent cash. If they can trace it back to money involved in a crime, they will have enough evidence for an arrest.

Moving Money across Borders

The FBI also catches a lot of money launderers who attempt to move funds overseas or across a border. Agents can set up an operation in an airport or bus station to watch for anyone moving suspiciously large amounts of cash. They could also track a suspected launderer to a travel station where they will have authority to conduct a search.

If the agents uncover a suspicious amount of money, they can make an arrest. In the meantime, they can attempt to link the money to a crime. If they are successful, they will be able to charge the defendant with money laundering in court.

Money Laundering Attorney

Money laundering charges are very serious. If you have been arrested, then it’s important that you hire a criminal defense attorney ASAP so that you can begin to work on your case. The sooner you have a lawyer, the more likely you to not get convicted of money laundering. Speak with Brett A. Podolsky today by calling 713.227.0087.

*Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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