Cambridge Money Laundering Lawyer
Money laundering is obscuring the source of an illegal income by making the income appear lawful. Obscuring the source of an income includes acts and processes such as hiding an income’s paper trail or connections to certain people. Money laundering is typically done by people attempting to evade taxes or avoid prosecution for their illegally obtained assets. (United States v. Aversa, 984 F2d 493, 504 (1st Cir. 1993).
To convict a defendant of money laundering, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knew the money was from an illegal source and his subsequent actions were designed to purposefully conceal the money’s origin. The government can use direct evidence, circumstantial evidence or evidence of willful blindness to secure a conviction of money laundering. Circumstantial evidence is used to determine a defendant’s intentions and show that the defendant was knowledgeable about the illegal source of the money. To prove knowledge, the government’s case usually consists of no more than circumstantial evidence. In the Federal Courts, circumstantial evidence is often enough to secure a defendant’s conviction of money laundering. (United States v. Johnson, 971 F.2d 562, 566 (10th Cir. 1992)).
Prosecutors find it advantageous to charge a defendant with money laundering because they can secure a higher sentence, introduce wealth and big spending at trial, overcome the statute of limitations, prosecute international conduct through extraterritorial jurisdiction, and prosecute defendants against whom they would otherwise have insufficient evidence of criminal wrongdoing.
These cases, which are often prosecuted in Federal District Court, are highly complex, and document intensive. Retain a Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer with experience in the Federal District Court in Boston. To schedule a free in-office consultation call 617-492-0055.
A defendant who should, under the circumstances, suspect that the source of the money he is paid is derived from an illegal enterprise, but turns a blind eye, can be prosecuted under the theory of willful blindness. For example, if a person conducts business with a known drug dealer, receives cash from the drug dealer at a rate far above the normal market value for his services, he could face prosecution. In contrast, a person who sells an item to a known drug dealer at the regular price cannot be, or at least should not be, prosecuted under the theory of willful blindness.
Retain a Cambridge, Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer
Kevin J. Mahoney is a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney. Call us at 617-492-0055 to schedule a free in-office consultation with us.